Two construction workers were killed and another was injured when a 25-foot tall wall collapsed Thursday morning at a construction site on Indian Lake Boulevard in Hendersonville.
Police said Joel Pineda Muniz, 24, of Nashville, and Jose P. Velasco-Sanagustin, 37, of Bethpage, died in the incident at the site of a future Goodwill store.
It took rescue crews about 45 minutes to get to the victims, and the surviving injured worker was transported by air to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Witnesses said the victim - Jeff Costello, 44, of Scottsville, KY - was alert when flown from the scene. Police said Costello is listed in stable condition.
Solomon Builders Inc. released the following statement to the Channel 4 I-Team:
"We are very focused on the needs of the families, employers and employees of all those involved. It is a tragedy and we are deeply saddened. We are especially saddened because we take safety very seriously at Solomon Builders. In response to your questions, of the five serious violations we have received over the past 8 years, 4 of them were a matter of personal choices by individuals (ie: not wearing a safety harness that they were provided) rather than an unsafe work environment. The one other classified "serious" violation was a missing handrail which can be issued for a stairway as low as 30" tall. All in all, a pretty strong safety environment, which we work hard to maintain."
Anyone with information that could help investigators is encouraged to call the Hendersonville Crime Stoppers at 615-573-5400.
Tips can also be submitted by text to the number 274637 (CRIMES) using keyword TIPHPD.
Building Company Previously Cited
This deadly accident is the first for Solomon Builders Inc., according to state safety records.
However, since 2006, Solomon Brothers has received nine workplace violations from the Tennessee Occupational Safety & Health Administration - five of them considered serious violations, including violations while constructing a building on 18th Avenue South and another on Highway 70.
The most recent - and most serious violation - pertained to the company not having adequate devices and procedures in place in case a worker fell.
It is unclear what happened to cause the wall to collapse Thursday in Hendersonville and whether Solomon Builders or its subcontractors - N and S Waterproofing and Thornes Excavating - could have prevented it.
"We have an investigator on site who will look at the role all three employers may have played in this unfortunate event. We will be interviewing employees on site. We'll be taking measurements, photographs and reconstruct the events that happened," said TOSHA administrator Steve Hawkins.
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