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Construction worker dies following North Carolina bridge collapse

A collapsed bridge has claimed the life of a construction worker and injured four other workers. The accident took place on Nov. 13 on the northern campus of a Raleigh community college.

The five men were members of a North Carolina concrete company, and the team was pouring cement on top of the bridge at the time of the collapse. According to one injured worker, the tallest part of the bridge fell more than 40 feet to the ground, and the bridge's wooden frame trapped the 42-year-old worker, killing him at the scene. The four injured workers were rushed to a nearby hospital for serious injuries. Two of the workers were later released from the hospital, and the others remained in care.

Investigators from the North Carolina Department of Labor are still trying to pinpoint the cause of the first collapse and the collapse of another bridge at the college. A second pedestrian bridge similar in design to the first bridge collapsed overnight at the Raleigh college. No injuries were reported in the overnight bridge collapse.

Construction workers are some of the most at-risk workers in America. Employers must establish safety rules and ensure that workers are adequately trained to mitigate work hazards and prevent on-the-job injuries. An attorney may be able to help the surviving victims and the late victim's family file a workers' compensation claim to assist with medical expenses, burial costs, loss wages and other damages. If construction or design errors are deemed to be responsible for an unstable structure, any third-party companies might also be held liable in an unrelated civil suit.

Source: WRAL.com, 'Hundreds honor worker killed in Wake Tech bridge collapse", Julia Sims, Nov. 17, 2014

Source: abc NEWS, "1 worker dies when NC pedestrian bridge collapses", November 13, 2014

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