Authorities investigate fatal construction incident at LAX

Authorities continue to investigate a construction incident that resulted in the death of a worker at Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Authorities were continuing Sunday to investigate an incident that resulted in the death of a construction worker this weekend at Los Angeles International Airport.

Juan Barajas, 39, of Bloomington, was killed Saturday morning, the coroner’s office said.

The worker was injured on the construction site for an aerial tram project near East and Center ways about 6 a.m., Los Angeles World Airports said in a statement. The incident is believed to have involved the collapse of a rebar column, the airport said.

Airport police officers and Los Angeles Fire Department personnel tried to resuscitate the man, but he died at the scene, the airport said.

The so-called people mover project is intended to connect the airport to Los Angeles County’s growing mass-transit system. In 2018, the City Council approved up to $4.9 billion to design, build, operate and maintain the elevated train in one of the largest contracts in city history. Service is expected to begin in 2023.


Construction on the transit project was halted for two days while the Los Angeles Police Department investigated Barajas’ death. The California Division of Occupational Safety & Health also was conducting an investigation.

“Los Angeles World Airports’ thoughts and prayers are with the person’s family, friends and fellow construction workers during this horrible tragedy,” the airport said in a statement.

On Saturday night, the airport’s pylons were lit in white in memory of Barajas, airport officials said.

City News Service contributed to this report.