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3 Workmen Injured at Hotel Site : Accident: Scaffolding collapses during construction on new bayfront Hyatt Regency.


Three construction workers, including a father and son, were injured Wednesday after falling five stories when scaffolding collapsed at an under-construction waterfront hotel.

The men were taken to UC San Diego Medical Center for treatment of injuries after the 9:28 a.m. accident. Don Amos, district manager for the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said the accident is under investigation and the cause is not known.

Wednesday's accident at the site of the Hyatt Regency at Market Street and Harbor Drive was the second in a month. A crane operator suffered an electrical shock on March 29, when his crane lost power and he attempted to change fuses. He was taken to UCSD Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

A hospital spokeswoman identified the workers injured in Wednesday's accident as Michael D. Child Sr., 41; Michael H. Child Jr., 23, and Stephen Valdez, 33. Valdez suffered back injuries but was discharged later in the day.

Michael Child Sr. suffered chest injuries, and Michael Child Jr. suffered a head injury and multiple fractures. The Childs were under observation and listed in good condition, according to the hospital.

The injured men are employed by E. F. Brady Co., a La Mesa plastering contractor. Company executives refused to comment on the accident.

"We still do not know what happened. The accident is under investigation," said company spokeswoman Barbara Walker.

Cal-OSHA officials said the scaffolding that collapsed under the workers was put up by another company.

The general contractor is Hunt Cor Inc., a Phoenix construction company. Company executives did not return phone calls.

San Diego firefighters responded to a call for assistance after the scaffolding fell apart. Fire Department spokesman Jeff Jackson said the men fell about 60 feet, or the equivalent of five floors.

The incident also resulted in a brief but tense standoff between construction workers and members of the media. According to witnesses at the scene, the workers objected when reporters entered the construction site. A Harbor Police officer at the scene asked reporters to stand outside the gated entrance to the site, witnesses said.

After the injured workers were taken to the hospital and emergency vehicles left the site, workers closed the massive gate and locked it.

"I got nothing to say to you. No comment," one worker said when a reporter attempted to talk to him through the gate.

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