2 seriously hurt in fall after beams collapse


Two construction workers were seriously injured after falling 20 feet from unfinished roof beams that collapsed yesterday afternoon at a townhouse project in Ellicott City.

Both men were taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center after being rescued by firefighters who scrambled up planks and 2-by-4s to reach them. Officials couldn't provide the victims' names, but firefighters said they were critically hurt.

Sgt. Jeff Loomis of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services said roof trusses fell like a "deck of cards" about 1: 40 p.m. at the Ryland Homes development, Hollifield Station, off Rogers Avenue in Ellicott City.

One of the men landed about a foot from a deep hole, said Capt. Tony Grable. "That was a close one," he said.

An hour after the accident, an adjoining set of trusses tumbled with a thud after wind whipped through the building. Twenty minutes earlier, firefighters were treating an injured man directly below the trusses.

Officials with the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating.

Ryan Houck, a spokesman for Ryland Homes, said, "We're making every effort to find the cause."

Pub Date: 6/02/98

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