When all safety protocols are followed and all equipment is maintained, in theory, construction should be no more dangerous than any other job. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Heavy equipment, heights, long hours and arduous labor can create hazards that lead to injuries. But sometimes, something goes so catastrophically wrong that workers are killed or severely injured. Here is a list of some of the worst construction accidents in modern history.
- 1907 – The Quebec City Bridge. That year, a man named Norman McLure wrote to consulting engineer Theodore Cooper that the bridge had distortions in the metal. Soon after, the south arm and the central part of the bridge collapsed, killing 75 construction workers. A month later, another 13 died trying to raise a new central section when it, too, collapsed.
- 1978 – The Willow Island disaster. Due to hasty construction and negligence, 51 workers died in this accident. To save money and time, workers poured concrete every day while building a cooling tower at the Pleasants Power Station, despite concrete taking longer than one day to set. The collapse of a crane then led to the collapse of concrete and scaffolding bolted to the cooling tower.
- 2008 – The New York City crane collapse. This accident, caught on camera, happened during the construction of a 40-story building. As workers tried to raise a tower crane higher, the crane fell to the ground below, killing seven people. Investigations later found a slew of safety violations at the construction site.
- 2010 – The Deepwater Horizon explosion. The Deepwater Horizon was a drilling rig that exploded due to a series of cost-cutting decisions and negligence. The disaster killed 11 workers and devastated the Gulf Coast.
If you’ve lost a loved one due to negligence on a construction site, discuss your case with a construction accident attorney.