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6 hurt when scaffolding collapses in Houston

| Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, 7:48 p.m.
Emergency personnel tend to an injured worker at a scaffolding collapse at a building under construction in Houston, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015.  (Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Emergency personnel tend to an injured worker at a scaffolding collapse at a building under construction in Houston, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. (Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

HOUSTON — Six workers were injured Friday when scaffolding collapsed at a seven-story building under construction in downtown Houston, leaving debris scattered along most of a city block.

Houston Fire Department Capt. Ruy Lozano said the injured workers were taken to local hospitals and their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. No other details on their injuries were available.

The accident happened at a residential complex across the street from Minute Maid Park, home of baseball's Houston Astros.

Long pieces of metal and wood from the scaffolding were scattered along most of a city block by the collapse. More than 100 firefighters responded, with many of them going into the debris to look for people.

About 200 workers were at the construction site when the collapse occurred, and it appears that all have been accounted for, Lozano said.

“I rushed toward the window to see what was happening, and everything was falling apart,” Eric Valdez, an 18-year-old plumber who was working inside the building, told the Houston Chronicle. “It was pretty bad. I'm just blessed that I get to see another day.”

Lozano said authorities don't believe anyone is trapped in the debris but responders were continuing to search using special equipment to monitor movement.

Lozano said authorities are breathing a sigh of relief that more people weren't injured.

“The fact we transported only six (to hospitals) is lucky to say the least,” he said.

The area around the scene is expected to be closed off for several days, Lozano said.

Mark Sullivan, a spokesman for the owner of the building, The Finger Companies, said the real estate developer was working with authorities to determine the cause of the collapse.

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