Structural Beams Collapse at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Construction Site: BSO

The collapse happened at a site on Griffin Road and Federal Highway.

By Gilma Avalos
|  Sunday, Nov 3, 2013  |  Updated 11:30 AM EDT
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A structural beam fell at a construction site at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport Saturday afternoon, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office. Officials say Saturday's set back won't mean a big delay in the $791 million dollar project. NBC 6's Gilma Avalos reports.

A structural beam fell at a construction site at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport Saturday afternoon, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office. Officials say Saturday's set back won't mean a big delay in the $791 million dollar project. NBC 6's Gilma Avalos reports.

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Five structural beams fell at a construction site at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport Saturday afternoon, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

The beams, being installed at the site on Griffin Road and Federal Highway, fell just before 2 p.m., authorities said.

One construction worker received a minor, superficial wound to his hand and was treated on scene, but no other injuries were reported, BSO said.

Working late into the evening, construction workers in reflector vests would try to undo the mess made when five heavy concrete beams toppled over, like 125-foot tall dominoes. The beams collapsed about 18 feet to the ground below.

Beam by beam, construction workers are building a new south runway for the airport. Eventually jetliners will land and take off from that runway as vehicle traffic moves through the tunnels below. Its expected completion date is approximately September of next year.

In this phase of the project construction workers are laying down the concrete beams that will serve as the deck of the runway and the roof for the tunnels. Exactly what caused the horizontal beams to collapse is still being investigated.

Officials say Saturday's set back won't mean a big delay in the $791 million dollar project.

"The deadline won't be pushed back. They're in the process of removing the beams so that the Florida East Coast railway can resume operations," said Allan Siegel, community outreach coordinator for the Broward County Aviation Department.

Siegel said in the nearly two years of the project, this is the first major incident to happen.

"Over the course of the construction project there could be about 11,000 jobs, so a lot of people will be out there and we're really lucky this wasn't a serious injury," he said.

The collapse did not affecting traffic.

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