Writing about people dying as the result of a construction accident is probably the last story an ENR reporter would ever want to write about. And I wish that I have written my last story about this topic.
Since the parking garage under construction at Miami Dade College collapsed last week—where three men have been confirmed dead and another, still missing, is presumed to be the fourth fatality—the situation has seemingly only gotten worse. As the ENR reporter covering the story, I've been thinking about it continually. And images keep finding their way into my head: of a worker trapped beneath the collapse; of a man who had both of his legs amputated to be extricated from the rubble—only to die later at the hospital.
I don't know that I've actually seen such images anywhere. But evidently my mind has visualized these horrible facts.
Another image has come forward lately, of Laurel Budhoo, the wife of Robert Budhoo, who is still missing. Mrs. Budhoo, frustrated that rescuers are not searching around the clock for her husband, told the NBC affiliate in South Florida that she just wants her husband back. "He’s down there regardless of if he’s alive or dead, but I’m still holding on to hope that my husband is still alive."
The words my mind has sought to sum up the situation have evolved over time, from when the collapse was first reported, until now, when the search for the last missing worker is still ongoing.
Mysterious. Fatal. Ugly. Gruesome. Horrible. Horrifying. Tragic. Sad.
Eventually, another sad word may be added to this list: Preventable.
For now, I am curious about what you think of this situation. Surely this story has stirred thoughts and emotions among some of you readers who are following it. Your perspective here would be appreciated.