Local News

Five Injured After Cary Building Collapses

Posted August 25, 2005

— A Thursday afternoon accident at a construction site in Cary sent five workers to a local hospital after wooden beams fell on top of them.

At about 5:30 p.m., workers with Carothers Construction were framing an addition onto a

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3700 Northwest Cary Parkway

when a wall collapsed, causing wooden beams to fall on top of at least five men.

"One of the outside structure walls collapsed which then caused a domino effect," said Sgt. Bruce Dale, of the Cary Police Department.

Cary police and emergency workers responded to the scene where they discovered five men injured. All of them were taken to WakeMed. Two of the victims -- Antonio Esparza, 25, and Auturo Ramirez, 32 -- suffered only minor injuries and were treated and then released. The other men - Cesar Esparza, 21; Jesus Vargas, 29; and Efrain Rodgriguez, 35 -- remain at the hospital, where they are listed in good condition.

No one inside the building was injured.

Juan Lopez, the construction foreman, was on top of the structure when it crashed, but did not fall. He helplessly watched his injured co-workers.

"All of a sudden everything fell down on us," Lopez said. "For me, the main thing is I was up there and I couldn't help anybody. I saw a couple of the guys asking for help. I (saw) blood all over the place because some trestles were on top of them."

The owner of Carothers said that in the company's 13 years of business, there had never been a serious accident.

Investigators from the North Carolina Department of Labor, who arrived at the scene Thursday evening, said it could be weeks before they pinpoint the cause of the accident.

"The first thing we want to find out is what happened to find out if it's preventable and hopefully prevent it from ever happening again as well," said Kevin Beauregard, from the Department of Labor.


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