One dead, others hurt when rebar topples at UCSD construction site

One person died and at least three others were hurt after a 35-foot rebar wall toppled at an on-campus construction site along North Torrey Pines Road on Thursday morning.


One person died and at least three others were injured when a 35-foot rebar wall collapsed at a construction site at the University of California San Diego on Thursday morning, officials said.

It was unclear how many people were hurt. State officials said they had been told five workers were injured. Local fire officials and the construction company said four people were taken to a hospital.

The call for help came in just after 8:20 a.m. at the site of the under-construction North Torrey Living and Learning Neighborhood, which will be a mixed-use development featuring housing and retail space on the west end of campus.


The $627 million complex is the single largest construction project in UC San Diego history. The plan includes housing for 2,000 students, as well as two research towers, dining, retail shops and a theater.

Details of what happened at the construction site also remain unclear, other than the standing rebar wall had collapsed.

A spokesman for the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, commonly called Cal/OHSA, said the agency received a report that five employees of Clark Construction were hurt in the collapse.

At least two workers sustained serious injuries, and one of them died at a hospital, said Frank Polizzi, a Cal/OHSA spokesman.

Initial reports from fire officials indicated four people were hurt — two seriously. Also, Clark Construction issued a statement that four people had been injured, including one who died.

A spokeswoman for Clark said five people had been in the area at the time of the collapse. Four were taken to a hospital.

Clark Construction also issued a statement that it had started a full investigation and is cooperating with authorities.

“We take all matters involving the safety of our workforce, our job sites, and the public seriously. Our deepest sympathies are with this individual’s family, friends, and co-workers during this incredibly difficult time,” Clark’s Senior Vice President Carlos Gonzalez said in a statement.

University officials issued a statement that they are “incredibly saddened by the tragic accident” at the job site.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to the family, friends and co-workers of the person who lost their life, and our hearts and thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy,” the statement reads.

Construction at the large work site, along North Torrey Pines Road, is about half done. It is slated for completion next year. After the incident, work at the site was halted for the day.

Staff writer Gary Robbins contributed to this story.


10:14 a.m. July 25, 2019: This story was updated with additional information.

3:32 p.m. July 25, 2019: This story has been updated with statements from Clark Construction and UC San Diego.

11:43 a.m. July 25, 2019: This story was updated to with information that one of the injured people died at a hospital.