Work was shut down on a new Los Angeles. skyscraper on Thursday after a worker fell to his death from the 53rd floor. The man landed in the middle of a busy intersection at rush hour. The man, an electrician, was on his second day on the job and was not authorized to be above the third floor, so he was not wearing his safety harness. He also was not wearing a hard hat.
The electrician fell about 800 feet and landed on the back of a passing car near the corner of Figueroa Street and Wilshire Boulevard. The car was undamaged, although spattered with blood, but the woman driving it was hysterical. She was taken to a hospital to be checked out.
Mel Melcon, a Los Angeles Times photographer who was on assignment at the new building, heard the man hit the ground, but said initially no one realized it was a body. No one heard screams.
It is not known why the man was on the 53rd floor, or why he was at the edge of the building. No electrical work was being done close to the edge and he was not approved to be up that high. The 891 people working on the building had all undergone training. Chris Martin, CEO of Martin Project Management which is the supervising company for the construction said “there’s safety training for every worker on the job, and certain locations there’s very specialized training. So these are all smart people. We had no injuries up to this date.”
The building, the Wilshire Grand Center, will be the tallest building in the west at 1,100 feet. The nearly quarter-mile tall structure will have 73 stories. The office and hotel tower is being developed by Korean Airlines Co. Ltd. at a cost of $1 billion, and should be opening in early 2017.