One worker was killed and four injured at a Miami hospital Aug. 26, after police say the boom of a 200-ft crane snapped and dropped heavy mechanical equipment on top of them.
Mario Bladimir Andino Renteria, 32, died while working at the HCA Florida Mercy Hospital in the Coconut Grove area. The four injured workers are in local hospitals in varying conditions.
Sims Crane & Equipment Co. and Edge Construction Inc. were identified by the U.S. Dept. of Labor as working at the Mercy Hospital work site. Neither returned ENR requests for comment.
The crane was an 180-ton, five-axle Tadano ATF 180G-5 all-terrain crane, according to a U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration spokesperson, and police say it was working with its 60-meter boom almost fully extended when the crane failed at the top.
Miami Fire Rescue spokesperson Lt. Peter Sanchez, who was at the scene, told ENR the crane "collapsed on itself, and it seemed to have a malfunction at the top at its highest point.”
When Sanchez arrived, he says there was nothing attached to the crane, and that “everything had fallen.” Images from local media show the arm of the crane failing near its tip.
“Paramedics began triage, treatment and transport for four patients who work for the construction company,” he says. “Unfortunately, one worker was pronounced deceased on the scene due to the injuries sustained.”
Andino and the others were working on renovation of the hospital, when the crane's boom collapsed, police said. “We were upgrading our air handlers, a project which is slated for completion this year,” said Annabel Beyra, hospital spokeswoman, in a statement.
She provided no additional detail on the project, which began in late 2022, and referred questions to investigators.
The Miami Technical Rescue Team performed an assessment of the crane, Sanchez said, and determined there was no danger of a secondary collapse. The crane was removed on Aug. 28.
“The Miami Police Homicide Unit, crime scene investigators, Miami Fire Rescue Department, and the Building Department, are working together with OSHA and the Miami Dade Medical Examiner Department to find out exactly what happened during this tragic incident,” said Assistant Chief Armando Aguilar of the Miami-Dade Police Dept.
Asael Marrero, Miami Building Dept. Director, says he is awaiting OSHA findings to determine “what really happened.”
He termed the project "a very routine type of work," at an Aug. 26 press conference. “It was mechanical equipment that is part of the renovation project that is ongoing.”
A funeral is planned for Andino at 6 p.m. Sept. 2 at Maria Auxiliadora Funeral Home, say family members.
“We are all devastated,” said Andino's cousin Ricardo Martinez in a social media post. “The news was given on Saturday. I went to the scene of the incident. It has hurt us all.”