Workman is critically injured in mall construction accident


A construction worker helping to build a parking garage at The Mall in Columbia was critically injured yesterday morning when a piece of scaffolding landed on him.

The worker was identified as Thomas Brook, 43, address unknown. He was listed in serious but stable condition with back injuries at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, said Capt. Kenneth Byerly, a spokesman for the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services.

Byerly said a beam that was part of the scaffolding of a parking deck next to the Hecht's department store collapsed, pinning Brook to the ground, about 10: 15 a.m. Byerly said the victim's co-workers removed the beam with a crane and called police.

An eyewitness said he heard Brook shout after the incident occurred.

"He was hollering, 'Help me,' " said Jim Barrick, a concrete inspector with Robert B. Balter Co. "He was in a sitting position, and it folded him in half."

Barrick, who has worked in construction for 30 years, called the incident "a freak accident."

"I've been around things for a long while, but every time someone hollers, it's scary," he said.

Byerly said the state and federal Occupational Safety and Health administrations would investigate the incident.

Pub Date: 5/07/98

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