Collapse At Pacoima Work Site Kills One, Injures Two

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Firefighters responded to three men involved in a wall collapse at a construction site, which killed one and sent two to the hospital.

Your Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned to a Technical Rescue on the 10500 block of North Glenoaks Boulevard in the Pacoima neighborhood of Los Angeles City, at 8:47 AM on June 7, 2023. Firefighters arrived to find that workers were digging a long three-foot-deep footing in dirt near the property line, when a forty-foot-wide section of cinder block wall (six feet tall) fell on them from above. The wall broke into multiple sections and two workers were able to escape. Unfortunately, one was left trapped under the rubble. 

Firefighters rendered medical aid to a 42-year-old male and a 45-year-old male, who were both treated and transported to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. However, a 49-year-old male remained trapped beneath the heavy block wall. 

LAFD Urban Search and Rescue specialists were among the firefighters who responded. Crews cordoned off the area to prevent others from injury, and stopped all machinery to eliminate vibrations that might further disrupt the scene. Water and electrical utilities were shut off, and a variety of rescue tools deployed.

Firefighters used sledgehammers and jack hammers to safety break away portions of the wall that were not directly above the patient. Then, they used Maxi-Force air bags, hydraulic spreaders/rams (Holmatro), and lumber supports to push against to spread the load, as they methodically lifted wall enough to pull the trapped patient out. 

A total of 46 firefighters, under the command of Battalion Chief Ricky Crawford, worked to extricate the trapped worker at the construction site, but sadly, the victim succumbed to his injuries. Firefighters worked together with the LA County Coroner to remove the remains in a dignified manner.  

LAFD worked closely with LAPD, CAL OSHA and other allied agencies to determine the circumstances surrounding this tragedy.

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