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Scaffold Collapse Kills Calif. Man

January 4, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ One worker was killed and two others injured Friday when an 18,000-pound section of scaffolding collapsed on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

The three men were working to strengthen the span in the event of an earthquake, according to California Department of Transportation spokesman Colin Jones.

The accident happened on the lower, eastbound section of the span at about 12:45 a.m. The names of the victims were not released.

The man who died was crushed by a movable platform attached to the bottom of the upper deck, said Jeff Weiss, another Caltrans spokesman. The platform is 30 feet wide _ it spans three lanes of traffic _ and 60 feet long, he said.

The two injured workers were taken to hospitals, but were not seriously hurt, officials said.

The bridge, which connects San Francisco and Oakland and carries several hundred thousand motorists a day, reopened around 7:20 a.m.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the incident, along with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

In September, a 5,400-pound piece of equipment also involved in the earthquake retrofit project fell from the side of the bridge and crushed the cab of a pickup truck, killing the driver. In February, a worker was badly injured after falling 90 feet from scaffolding secured to a bridge support tower.

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