Building collapse EMTs took too long, claims man

  • <B>Millard Bean</B>, 47, was killed when part of a building collapsed at Morgan&#146;s Point.

    Millard Bean, 47, was killed when part of a building collapsed at Morgan’s Point.
    ((Photo by Glenn Tucker))

Emergency medical responders took too long to reach this week’s fatal industrial accident at Morgan’s Point, a worker from the site has charged.

Three police cars arrived shortly after the accident but EMTs hadn’t shown 20 minutes later, the man claimed.

Millard Bean, 47, died when part of a building collapsed on him on Tuesday morning.

“What were they doing there in the first place if they’re told there’s an industrial accident, without EMTs?” the source questioned.

The man said he’d been friends with Mr Bean, a supervisor with Island Construction for a number of years.

He was one of a group working at another part of the site, who arrived on the scene within minutes of the collapse of a derelict building near Lexington Road.

“We cleared the debris off by 12 to 15 minutes after the accident tops,” he said. “Police got there two to three minutes later. A guy told them to call the EMTs. I heard the inspector say, ‘Quick, call the EMTs’. We’re talking 17 to 20 minutes and still no EMTs. Three cop cars and not a single ambulance is kind of ridiculous.

“We left, we drove away, and we heard them coming. That was at least 20 minutes.”

Mr Bean was hit by concrete slab and found unconscious by workers who arrived, five to seven minutes after the crash, the man said.

He questioned safety protocol at the site, saying he’d noticed there was heavy machinery nearby, and a lack of hard hats.

“All those buildings are in poor shape. All of them are dangerous.

“I want to know what in the hell that payloader was doing on the site in the first place. The building was very unsafe, not a single hard hat around and this huge machine on the premises could have been vibrating the ground and shaking it up.”

He added: “This building was at least 70 years old and it’s been derelict since the base pulled out. Before you start [work], the Health Department has to say it’s safe. Those buildings are old and decrepit and more than likely fairly safe — but if you are walking in with no safety equipment, that’s foolish.”

The collapse, unofficially described as a freak accident, is now under investigation.

The source who contacted this newspaper said he wanted to make it clear that his group did not see the accident itself.

“It has to be said I got there after the fact. We did not witness anything. We merely cleared off the debris.”

No official response was forthcoming from police and fire services, who are continuing to investigate the accident.

A spokesman for the Department of Environmental Health offered “the most heartfelt condolences” to the family of Mr Bean.

“This matter is under active investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Office. This includes the taking of witness statements as well as compiling reports from technical officers.

“Further, all information collected is to be kept in strict confidence should the case be considered for prosecution by the Department of Public Prosecution.”

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Published Feb 8, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 7, 2013 at 10:17 pm)

Building collapse EMTs took too long, claims man

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