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Three workers killed in North Carolina scaffolding collapse

Three workers killed in North Carolina scaffolding collapse
A section of scaffolding protrudes from a shattered window at the scene of a construction accident in downtown Raleigh, N.C. (Harry Lynch / Raleigh News & Observer)

Three construction workers were killed and another was seriously injured Monday when a scaffolding system on an 11-story building collapsed in downtown Raleigh, N.C., city officials said.

A support structure on the scaffolding apparently failed and the system fell apart, killing and injuring workers on the platform and on the street below. Other workers were evacuated from the 243,000-square-foot building, which is under construction.

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City officials, who described the 10:58 a.m. accident in a statement, said the injured worker was rushed to a hospital. The statement said officials were notifying the families of the victims.

Authorities later identified the dead workers as Jose Erasmo Hernandez, 41, of Durham; Jose Luis Lopez-Ramirez, 33, of Clinton; and Anderson Almeida, 33, of Durham, the Associated Press reported. The injured man was identified as Elmer Guevara, 53.

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Workers were dismantling the scaffolding when the collapse occurred. The system had been set up by a scaffolding subcontractor.

Inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the North Carolina Department of Labor were at the site Monday, the city statement said.

A Raleigh Police Department spokesman referred all questions to a city spokesman, who said he had no further information.

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