Companies involved in deadly garage collapse fined
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Months after a deadly collapse on a college campus, companies involved in the construction project are being fined by federal safety regulators.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration citations released Wednesday state that the garage under construction was not inspected according to the drawings and procedures. They also said bases and columns were not properly grouted and all columns were not properly welded. OSHA also said contractors did not follow project drawings.
Christian Ramirez survived on Oct. 10, 2012 when the parking garage, which was being constructed at the Miami Dade College West Campus, suddenly collapsed. "I just heard the collapse," said Ramirez. "I remember hearing the building fall, being stuck in the rubble, burning, everybody screaming."
Four people were killed, several others were trapped but survived. Ramirez, who remains in a wheelchair, said he felt the project was rushed. "As days went by," said Ramirez, "you could see that they were trying to accomplish something that they needed to take time to do."
OSHA is citing five firms: AJAX Building Corporation, Coreslab Structures, MEP Structural Engineering & Inspections, Florida Lemark Corporation and Solar Erectors U.S.
Attorneys representing several of the deceased and injured have already filed lawsuits. "We believe there are even more problems that exist than they have indicated," said Attorney Alan Goldfarb. "Classification serious is as high level as you can go."
They not only point to the citations but said the rubble does not lie. "This is a rare occurrence," said Attorney Stuart Grossman. "And it took a lot of people doing the wrong thing to make something like this happen."
The five-story, $20 million garage at Miami-Dade College's West Campus collapsed Oct. 10. The OSHA violations were labeled as serious, which, under federal law, translates to a maximum $7,000 penalty.
OSHA set an April 25 deadline for the problems to be fixed.
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