Local News

Construction completed at site of deadly Raleigh scaffolding collapse

Posted June 17, 2015 6:47 p.m. EDT
Updated June 17, 2015 6:58 p.m. EDT

— A downtown Raleigh building that was the site of a deadly scaffolding collapse in March had its grand opening Wednesday evening.

Charter Square, located at the corner of South and Fayetteville streets, is an 11-story building with business, retail and restaurant space.

Andy Andrews, president of Dominion Realty Partners, said the building will become part of downtown Raleigh’s economic engine.

“There will be 700 people in this building,” he said. “700 people who gotta eat and might want to have a beer at night. They might want to walk the streets and visit shops. And I think more of these coming along (will) open up the opportunity for more people to want to live down here too.”

Wednesday’s opening comes three months after three construction workers were killed and a fourth seriously injured after the scaffolding collapsed on March 23.

Jose Erasmo Hernandez, 41, of Durham; Jose Luis Lopez-Ramirez, 33, of Clinton; and Anderson Almeida, 33, of Durham, fell to their deaths. Elmer Guevara, 53, was treated for serious injuries.

The accident involved equipment known as a mast climber scaffold, which moves up and down a building's facade to transport workers to different floors. Workers were in the process of dismantling the scaffold when one of the tracks snapped off and fell into a twisted heap on the ground.

State and federal investigators said it could take months to determine the cause of the accident.