Three people were killed and six injured today when parts of several floors of a downtown office building under construction collapsed under the weight of a pile of steel girders.
The accident at the site of a high-rise office building under construction at 1000 Wilshire Boulevard occurred shortly before noon.
"We don't know exactly how it occurred," said Fire Captain Tony di Domenico. "One large section of construction steel got away." Officials said that a pile of steel girders crashed through the corrugated flooring of five floors above street level and about six subterranean levels.
"The dead men were on some of the floors and rode it down," he said.
As a result of the falling building material, part of the building gave way and crashed down, pancaking the descending floors into a pile of rubble, officials said.
"The whole thing went right into the basement," said Vince Marzo, a Los Angeles Fire Department inspector.
Seven fire companies and eight paramedic crews arrived at the construction site shortly after the collapse. Two of the injured were transported to nearby Good Samaritan Hospital. Four others were treated at the scene.