Casino construction official: no bolts missing

Scene of the concrete collapse at the Cincinnati Horseshoe casino
Scene of the concrete collapse at the Cincinnati Horseshoe casino

Messer Construction officials say all bolt connections at the casino site in areas unaffected by Friday's accident were checked before workers were allowed to return on Wednesday.

A construction management official says a review of the structure by eight third-party structural engineers found no bolts missing in those unaffected areas.

The president of casino construction manager Messer Construction Co. told state casino regulators Wednesday that the investigation is continuing. President Tom Keckeis told them he cannot say what caused the collapse and that will come out when the investigation is completed.

A spokesperson for Messer Construction says they will continue to "detail" all connections in the same manner as they were doing before the accident which they say is accepted practice in the construction industry. They say they will, however, have extra safety inspections to review those connections.

Work resumed Wednesday morning in unrestricted areas at the site five days after a floor collapsed as concrete was being poured. Workers say Messer Construction gathered all of the construction crews together before the start of the workday Wednesday to brief them on what areas would be off limits. One worker who attended the gathering said the area blocked off spans three floors and nearly half of the main structure. Workers have been hesitant to speak publicly following Friday's accident.

"Safety is an ultimate concern on a construction site," Governor Kasich said of the accident. "It's unfortunate that we've had these difficulties but we'll manage our way through them."

During a visit to Cincinnati Wednesday, Governor Kasich addressed casino collapse concerns.

"Nobody likes to see that," Kasich said. "I think there's a question: Were they moving too fast? Well I don't think this casino was scheduled to open until next year so I'm not convinced speed is the issue."

Kasich insisted the bureaucratic process to re-evaluate the taxes and fees on casinos that prompted Rock Gaming officials to halt construction in May had no impact on the speed of construction going forward.

"I don't want to pre-judge anything, but it would not be my sense that a gentleman like Dan Gilbert (Rock Gaming LLC Chairman) is interested in hurrying something along and taking big risks," Kasich said. "That's not the way that I see him."

He also made note of the state's role.

"I think it should be pretty clear that we're not hurrying anything along," Kasich said.  "Even our casino commission has been somewhat criticized for not moving quicker."

Rock Gaming released this statement Wednesday evening:

Our initial opening date for Cincinnati was late 2012.  Rock Ohio Caesars made the decision to stop work temporarily at the Cincinnati site last May while additional taxes and fee discussions were taking place at the State level.  We knew that a consequence of halting work could be a postponed opening date.  Since resolving the State issues in mid-June, we have been working toward a Spring 2013 opening in Cincinnati. 

Rock Gaming officials told FOX19 they were actually ahead of schedule due to a lack of anticipated winter weather in recent weeks.

The injuries from Friday's accident were mostly minor. A hospital spokesman says the one worker still hospitalized remained in serious condition Wednesday.

The collapse occurred weeks after a similar Cleveland casino accident with the same developers, who say the cases aren't linked.

(Copyright 2012 FOX19. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press Contributed to this report.)