Four workers hurt in scaffolding collapse

Four construction workers were injured after the scaffolding they were working on collapsed Thursday morning.

Southern Illinois Healthcare says eight men were working on construction site at Herrin Hospital in Illinois around 7:45 a.m. Thursday when the center portion of the scaffolding collapsed and the four men on it fell with it.

Tom De Christina lives across the street from Herrin Hospital, he says he was having a cup of coffee when he heard a loud bang.

"I looked out the window and saw a big cloud of dust, and I knew something bad had happened," De Christina said.

As he rushed outside to find out what happened, he realized he wasn’t the only one. Nurses and medical staff coming in for the 8 a.m. shift change were running over from the parking lot just seconds after the crash, he said.

"The people that got there first were fanning the dust off their face, that’s how quick they got there: before the dust had settled," De Christina said.

Rosslind Rice, spokeswoman for SIH, says two men were flown to St. Louis with critical injuries. She says one man was taken to Evansville, Indiana, for treatment. The fourth man was treated at Herrin Hospital and released. According to Rice, none of the injuries the men received are life-threatening.

SIH leaders say they and their staff are thinking about the injured workers and wish them a speedy recovery.

De Christina said the accident was awful, but the location was lucky.

"Of course, everybody was in shock at first. But the nurses, they knew what to do. It couldn’t have happened at a better place if you’re going to have
an accident," he said.

OSHA was on the accident site Thursday afternoon. Representatives say an inspection of what happened could take months.

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