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Telling his story: Brickell construction worker says he’s lucky to be alive

OSHA investigating what caused steel bars to fall, injure workers

MIAMI, Fla. – Colleagues tells us at least one of the six workers who was injured is still in the hospital after a construction accident near Brickell City Centre on Wednesday.

Local 10 was told a crane was moving a bundle of rebar into place when it suddenly fell, injuring six workers below. The company working on the project, Civic Construction, said in a statement on social media that a steel cage came loose as it was being flown by the tower crane.

“A bundle of rebar being transported from the ground level onto a higher level where construction was taking place had a malfunction,” said Lt. Pete Sanchez of Miami Fire Rescue. “It trapped three of them, and one of them was able to self extricate. The other two construction workers were actually impaled within the rebar.”

Local 10 spoke exclusively to one of the injured workers who told us it all happened in a matter of seconds and he barely had time to react.

Oscar Peraza can see himself on cell phone video being helped by co-workers after a bundle of steel came crashing down trapping his leg. He spoke to Local 10 in Spanish, telling us the horror of what happened.

"It came apart in the air and the steel bars came falling down. So, the only thing I did was close my eyes and wait for it to come down on top of me," Pereza said.

("Se desarmo arriba en el aire y empezaron a caer las barras. Entonces yo lo unico que hice es cerrar los ojos y esperar para recibir el hierro arriba.")

He said his co workers saved him by cutting through the bar that was trapping his leg.

"Gracias a dios a mis compañeros," Pereza said.

Peraza said without their quick actions he believes he may have lost his leg. His foot is fractured in several places and he said he is in a lot of pain.

Of the six men hurt, Peraza said the one that is still in the hospital is fighting for his life.

“It was an accident. But still, all of us want to know what happened.”

(”Fue un accidente lo que paso pero todavia todos estamos que, que fue lo que paso. “)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed that they are investigating what caused the accident.

“The managers run around and want to do everything fast. But for me, the priority has to be safety,” Pereza said.

("Los jefes andan ahi a la carrera, que quieren hacer todo rapido, rapido, rapido. Pero para mi lo primero tiene que ser la seguridad. Seguridad primero pero es lo que no hay. Seguridad.")

The terrifying ordeal came on the same day as his 3-year-old daughter’s birthday. Peraza worries what’s next with no work, and no income for now. But today he’s thankful.

"It could have been, instead of six people hurt, six people killed. But thank God. He gave us a second chance and we are here to keep going," Pereza said.

(“Casualmente no hubieran sido seis heridos sino que seis muertos. Pero gracias a Dios. Dios nos dio una segunda oportunidad y estamos aqui para seguir para adelante.”)

Pereza is hoping that the construction company will help pay some of his medical bills.


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