After a major accident happened on Monday, October 5th, in which approximately 13 or 14 floors of stairs collapsed down a stairwell and killed three workers and injured one other, rescue crews could remove the bodies on Wednesday.
The partial collapse happened in Houston, at the Marathon Oil headquarters building. The collapse occurred in a corner stairwell of the 15 story building on a newly-erected set of concrete stairs. It is unclear what caused the destruction, but it appears to be a domino effect of the top set dropping, then cascading down the entire stairwell to the ground floor.
On Monday and Tuesday, it was still considered unsafe to enter the building to retrieve the bodies. Twenty rescue workers and construction workers cut a hole in the roof above the stairwell to allow a crane to reach down into the building and lift the massive concrete stairs out.
Two hundred forty other workers were on the site at the time of the incident and were uninjured.
The workers' deaths add to the mounting grim statistics of construction-related deaths in Texas. In 2019, 25 workers in Houston were killed in workplace incidents, with 174 across Texas. So far, nine Houston workers have been killed in Houston in 2020, with 40 more statewide.
The builder, Harvey Builders, released the following statement: "Harvey Builders is working with the Houston Fire Department, our subcontractor East Texas Precast, and Hines, the project's development manager, to investigate a fatal accident involving the collapse of a stairway on the construction site of the future Houston headquarters of Marathon Oil. Construction is an inherently dangerous activity, and in recognition of this, Harvey and its subcontractors observe very strict protocols on every project. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with each of the families involved during this difficult time."