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Dufferin Const/Scaffold Collapse/News Story

scaffold collapse? does dufferin use union carp's for support scaffolds? Scores of men spent 5 1/2 hours pouring 418 tons of concrete over the rebars formed for the new Brown's Line south ramp, before a centre scaffold broke, a company official said.


Friday, August 10, 2001


Trapped


Worker rescued after ramp collapse




By IAN ROBERTSON, TORONTO SUN




A construction worker was resting at home last night after being trapped for four hours in a tangle of unstable scaffolding when a highway ramp collapsed "I'm happy he's okay ... I just don't want anything more to happen to him," Renato Ponte, 14, said about his brother, Ruben, who has leg and back injuries as well as sun exposure after his ordeal at the Hwy. 427-QEW construction site.




Fifteen others made it to safety soon after the collapse but an equipment malfunction prolonged Ponte's ordeal as firefighters were forced to use a second aerial fire truck as a platform to reach him in a pit inside the tangled debris.




DUST AND RUBBLE




Eight other Dufferin Construction workers who fled the dust and rubble on foot were taken to hospital with minor injuries after the 9:40 a.m. collapse. Two others suffering from chest pains were rushed to nearby Trillium Health Centre.




Emergency Medical Service staff said the men were expected to be treated and released -- including Anthony Fasullo, who ran into the scaffolding and spent 2 1/2 hours with Ponte before firefighters rescued him, unharmed, at the end of a crane rope dangling from an aerial truck's ladder.




Scores of men spent 5 1/2 hours pouring 418 tons of concrete over the rebars formed for the new Brown's Line south ramp, before a centre scaffold broke, a company official said.




The work site was inspected earlier, "but something was bothering me, call it a premonition," said a site inspector, who didn't want to be named. "I went back up a ladder and couldn't see anything, but 10 minutes later ... it went down."




Bill Peace, an All Canada Crane operator, said: "I was on the west side, on the ground, and they were pouring concrete, when I heard a big snap ... a big crack.




"Then I heard all this concrete come down in a big rush," Peace said.




A Toronto Ambulance crew arrived within minutes to the $30-million highway interchange construction site.




"When I got here the dust was everywhere," Toronto Police Sgt. Steve Ferris said. "It was like an explosion happened."




KEEP COOL




Matt Drenters and Dave Dunt, both technical rescue firefighters and paramedics with the Toronto Fire Service, spent three hours with Ponte, pouring water over him to keep the trapped construction worker cool, providing shade, passing him drinking water and telling him what was happening.




"He was within a foot of having the rebar piercing him. We didn't want to crawl over the equipment because it might collapse," said Drenters




In addition to Dufferin Construction inspectors examining the damage, the labour ministry sent investigators.