Garden Grove : Scaffolding Collapses, Leaving 2 Men Injured

A four-story network of steel scaffolding collapsed Wednesday beside a nearly completed hotel in Garden Grove, injuring two workers and damaging more than $1 million in new cars at a dealership next door.

Mariano Torres Alvarado, 17, and Rudolpho Aguilar, 20, tumbled from the third floor of the scaffolding as it buckled beneath them but escaped critical injury.

Both men were in stable condition at UCI Medical Center in Orange. "They're doing fine," said Marie Sanders, the hospital's clinical coordinator.

Ed Lukas, a Garden Grove fire inspector, said several other workers on the scaffolding managed to scramble back into the unfinished building, a Ramada at 10080 Garden Grove Blvd. The crews were finishing stucco work on a wall when the accident occurred.

Authorities were unsure what caused the 450-foot-long skeleton of steel to collapse shortly after 3:30 p.m. Investigators from Cal/OSHA were supposed to arrive on the scene today to pick through the tangled wreckage for clues, Lukas said.

The tumbling steel virtually buried 30 or 40 new Jeep Cherokees--each valued at about $28,000--in a lot at the adjacent County Wide Chrysler-Jeep-Eagle dealership, said Victor Sietsema, sales manager. The tires of several of the vehicles were flattened by the force of the impact.

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