Man dies after falling 50 feet at Seattle construction site

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SEATTLE - A worker who fell about 50 feet at a construction site in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood Monday morning has died.

The Seattle Fire Department said the worker fell off scaffolding at a building at 101 Taylor Ave. in Seattle.

Co-workers said the man was a welder with North Coast Iron Corp, of Anacortes. It was the 31-year-old man’s first day at this job site.

Witnesses say he unclipped his safety harness as he moved from one part of the scaffolding to another.

“He was going to the other side. He must have unhooked to get to the other side and when he did he tripped over the welder and when he tripped, he fell,” said David Widmer, who was also working at the site. Widmer said he has worked in construction 31 years, “and never seen something like that.”

The victim was transported to Harborview Medical Center where he later died.

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries said it had been to the job site twice before. The first time was in March when a concrete form collapsed during pouring. No one was injured and no safety violations were found. 

L and I returned last November after a complaint was made about the “fall protection” at the work site. Inspectors did not find any safety violations. Inspectors were out taking pictures and examining the accident site Monday afternoon.

The developer of the project, SRM Development LLC, said a statement Monday, “We are working closely with governmental authorities and investigators to help gain a clear understanding of

the events that led up to this tragic incident. Today is a sad day for our company.”

The identity of the victim will be released by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Work was shut down at the site after the fall.  Work will resume Tuesday morning.