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Three injured workers lifted to safety after Vancouver scaffolding collapse

Chimney burst, toppled, and pushed over a scaffolding tower, pinning workers underneath

A crane was used to extract three injured workers to safety in downtown Vancouver after a facade fell off a church building onto scaffolding.

Samantha Newlove, a traffic control worker, said the incident happened on Wednesday as concrete was being pumped into a chimney on the building, which burst, toppled over and pushed over a scaffolding tower, pinning workers underneath.

“It was pretty traumatizing watching it all tumble over and hearing all the guys screaming for help and stuff like that,” she said. “It’s not something I wanted to deal with today.”

Assistant fire chief Jarret Gray with Vancouver Fire Rescue Services was on site after the incident and said firefighters had to pull rubble off one of the workers and use the crane to lower the injured workers off the building.

The workers had non-life-threatening injuries, he said, and the next step is a WorkSafeBC investigation.

“We’ll see when the site opens up again,” Gray said.

Other workers on the site of the First Baptist Church and the adjoining building known as the Butterfly were being sent home after the injured workers were taken to hospital.

The church is undergoing seismic upgrade and restoration work.

Captain Matthew Trudeau with Vancouver Fire Rescue Services said they were called to a report of a structural collapse.

Traffic was closed near the downtown site, but the street soon reopened.

READ ALSO: 2 years after Kelowna deadly crane collapse, B.C. considers safety improvements





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