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Building under construction collapses in Arnold; two workers hurt

| Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011

ARNOLD -- Two laborers were injured Monday afternoon when roof trusses collapsed at a roofing company's warehouse that is under construction near the city line with New Kensington.

The two men were standing on the wooden trusses as a crane loaded a pallet of roofing plywood on top of the trusses about 2 p.m.

The weight of the plywood apparently caused the trusses to collapse and one wood-framed wall to buckle into the crane, according to workers at the scene.

A worker who declined to be identified estimated the men fell about 20 feet to the concrete floor.

Rescue workers quickly removed the injured men from the building, according to Arnold No. 2 Fire Chief Don Ferrante.

The victims, who were not identified, were taken to UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh.

Their injuries were not thought to be life threatening.

The building in the 1300 block of Third Avenue is the future home of L&L Roofing Inc., a 27-year-old roofing and sheet metal company based on Greensburg Road in Lower Burrell.

In May, owner Lynn Momberger said the 60-by-80 foot building would house a warehouse, offices and a metal fabricating shop.

Momberger could not be reached for comment Monday.

It was not immediately clear for which company the injured men worked. Several contractors were on site Monday, including Dave Brown Construction, Don Cramer Welding and Crane Services and C&C Building Supplies.

A sign at the work site indicated Mt. Pleasant-based R.D. Harrer Construction was the general contractor; no one at the company could be reached early Monday evening.

Tom Dunn, Arnold's community development director, said he happened to be at the construction site when the collapse occurred. L&L Roofing is the first company to buy land and build in Arnold's redevelopment project area.

Dunn estimated about 80 percent of the flat-roof trusses were in place when they collapsed.

He said the walls -- tall, wooden frames about half-covered with plywood -- were erected in the past few days.

Arnold firefighters remained on scene for several hours to help stabilize the building. A crane held the walls steady while workers used a mechanical lift inside the building's shell to nail supports to the wooden framework.

Once the framing was supported, another worker wielded a chainsaw from the bucket of one of Arnold's firetrucks to loosen the broken portion of the rear wall, which then was lowered to the ground.

Ferrante said the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration would investigate the work-related accident.

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