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Worker Injured In SF Construction Accident Improves

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Workers at the scene of a construction site accident near 19th and Illinois streets in San Francisco (CBS)

Workers at the scene of a construction site accident near 19th and Illinois streets in San Francisco (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — One of three workers seriously injured in an accident at a construction site in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood on Wednesday morning has been upgraded to fair condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The accident was reported shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday at a six-story building under construction at 19th and Illinois streets.

Workers were pouring concrete on the building’s roof when a support structure underneath collapsed, causing three workers who were in a stairwell on the sixth floor to fall three stories, fire Battalion Chief Charles Crane said.

Firefighters responded and found the three workers covered in concrete that hadn’t yet hardened, Crane said.

The three were severely injured but were conscious when taken to San Francisco General Hospital. A fourth worker was also hospitalized after suffering minor injuries while trying to help the workers who fell, Crane said.

One of the workers has since been upgraded to fair condition, while the other two remain in serious condition, hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan said Thursday.

The accident happened at the site of the Potrero Launch project, a high-rise that will have retail stores on the bottom floor and residential units above it.

The workers who were injured were employed by Nibbi Brothers General Contractors, according to Patricia Ortiz, spokeswoman for the California Division of Occupational Health and Safety.

Ortiz said Thursday that the investigation into the cause of the collapse is ongoing and could last a few months.

She said Cal/OSHA crews had been out at the construction site twice in the last six months and did not see any problems, and that the safety record of the project’s contractor is “pretty clean.”

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon released a statement following the accident saying his office will also be conducting an investigation.

“We take worker safety extremely seriously. We regularly investigate serious accidents for possible criminal activity. In this particular case, as in every case, we are in the process of conducting an independent investigation to determine if any criminal conduct has occurred,” Gascon said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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