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Worker pinned by scaffolding at pier

September 04, 2003

Jenny Marder

A construction worker was airlifted to UC Irvine Medical Center after

a bundle of scaffolding tumbled on top of him and pinned him against

the ground for several minutes.

The worker was unloading construction material just before 9 a.m.

Tuesday in the parking lot north of the Huntington Beach Pier for the

Core Tour, a skateboarding and BMX biking exhibition that begins

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Friday in the city lot.

Long bundles of metal rods and steel beams came crashing down onto

the man as he was loosening straps on a truck, loaded with material

for scaffolding and bleachers for the extreme sports event, said

Brian Springer, public information officer for the Huntington Beach

Fire Department.

It's possible that the truck's load had shifted during the drive,

he said.

"Typically, it's very common for [materials] to shift en route,

during transport," Springer said.

Other workers at the scene used a forklift to reduce some of the

weight. Members of the Huntington Beach Fire Department's emergency

response unit extricated the man.

"They are very heavy materials, no doubt," Springer said.

The man was then flown to the UCI Medical Center by helicopter,

which landed on Pacific Coast Highway, by Main Street. He was

conscious and talking the whole time, Springer said.

"They appeared to be moderate injuries as the paramedics assessed

the victim," Springer said.

Brian West, 19, who works at Zack's Pier Plaza concession stand

next door, said it was scary seeing the fire trucks and seeing the

area roped off and the man airlifted out.

"People were saying, when it fell, it sounded like a sonic boom,"

West said.

No other injuries were reported.

Officials from the occupational safety and health administration,

or Cal-OSHA, are investigating the incident.

"It's such a tragic thing," said Surf City resident Raymond

Godfrey, who witnessed the accident. "We have enough problems without

this."

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