Two construction workers were injured after plunging into the water in the partial collapse of a Seattle pier on Sept. 13, reports USA Today.
The workers were part of a crew involved in the removal of Pier 58, the structure supporting several attractions including the Seattle Aquarium, according to the Seattle Fire Department.
Five workers were on the pier when the northeast corner, closest to the aquarium, began to collapse, according to The Seattle Times. A monitoring system triggered alarms and the workers evacuated, but not before two men, who were sawing concrete, fell into the water. Both were rescued quickly by on-site safety staff and are in stable condition at a local hospital.
“We knew that the pier was shifting and that there was a risk of collapse, and so a series of additional safety precautions were taken,” said Marshall Foster, director of the city of Seattle’s Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects, which is overseeing a $720 million renovation of the entire length of the waterfront as part of the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement.
Foster told The Seattle Times that initial inspections revealed no damage to the aquarium, nor to the Miner’s Landing pier to the south, which holds the Great Wheel. The Seattle seawall also appeared to be undamaged, he said, but the sidewalk along Pier 58 would remain closed “for the foreseeable future.”
Work had resumed this weekend at the site after officials decided to accelerate removal of the pier because of its movement away from land and continued deterioration. Officials had closed the downtown Waterfront Park after finding that the movement had left a gap between the pier and land.
Before the city's decision for accelerated removal, the 50-year-old pier had been slated for remodel in 2022 as part of a redesign of the waterfront.