One Dead, Another Worker Critical In Scaffolding Collapse
Two workers were trapped underneath a large amount of fallen scaffolding that involved concrete and other building debris.
A 39-year-old man was freed and taken to the Royal North Shore Hospital.
Tragically, 18-year-old apprentice Christopher Cassaniti, who rescuers had difficulty getting to, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Careflight confirmed the injured man is in a critical condition and is being treated for pelvic and abdominal injuries.
The incident occurred just after 12:20pm on Monday afternoon at the large Lachlan's Line Project construction site on Epping Road in Macquarie Park.
Rescue crews were unable to reach the workers for some time while a "significant amount" of fallen scaffolding was secured.
Police confirmed up to 17 metres of scaffolding had collapsed on the two men.
Property developer Greenland Australia said it extended its deepest sympathies to the family, friends and co-workers of the deceased man.
"The welfare of the site’s employees and subcontractors remains a priority, and we are currently assisting police and emergency authorities at the site to determine the cause of this tragic event," the developer said in a statement.
Construction company Ganellen said it was assisting emergency authorities at the site.
"Our immediate concern and focus is on the safety of our people and accounting for those who were in the vicinity of the accident, and ensuring the site is safely secured," a spokesperson for Ganellen said.
"We will continue to assist emergency authorities in any way we can and provide further details as available and appropriate."
Fire and Rescue NSW were at the scene and said the rescue operation was "delicate".
Superintendent Bryce Jonas from FRNSW confirmed the two workers were trapped underneath the rubble.
Crews were working to secure the rest of the scaffolding to prevent further falls before the rescue operation could resume, Jonas said.
A worker having lunch next door to the scene told 10 News First he heard a loud bang and then saw people running.
He said the scene was one of panic.
Local traffic is affected with two city-bound lanes closed on Epping Road at Delhi Road.
Members of the public are being urged to avoid the area.
A spokesperson for Safe Work NSW told 10 daily that inspectors were responding to the incident at the worksite.
According to SafeWork, a number of tradesmen were working on the lower deck of the scaffolding when it collapsed.
"While the cause of the collapse is unknown at this stage, SafeWork is employing significant resources to fully understand how this tragic incident occurred," the spokesperson said.
"It is expected that the investigation could take some time, while SafeWork inspectors work through the complexities of the incident."
The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union’s NSW Branch officials also attended the site.
“This young man was a member of the union, and we are united in our grief,” CFMEU National Construction Secretary Dave Noonan said in a statement.
“We will do all that we can for his family, and to assist Police and investigators."
A report for the Coroner will be prepared.
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