Several hurt in Cincinnati Horseshoe casino collapse

Published: Jan. 27, 2012 at 1:12 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 28, 2012 at 2:46 PM EST
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Several workers have been hurt after a concrete collapse at the construction site of the new Cincinnati casino.

The incident happened at the site of the Horseshoe Casino at the corner of Gilbert and Broadway just before 8 a.m. Workers say they were pouring a 60x60 feet bay of concrete when a steel portion of the structure collapsed, causing the concrete to fall about 25 feet.

Cincinnati Fire Chief Richard Braun says the workers basically slid down the concrete as it collapsed. No one was underneath the bay.

Fire officials say 13 workers were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Ten workers were taken to University Hospital - seven by ambulance and three by private transport - according to hospital officials. Two additional victims were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital and another to Bethesda North.

UC Hospital officials say they expect all of the victims to be released later on Friday. Most of the injuries consisted of lacerations and broken bones. Hospital officials at Good Sam say both of their patients will be released later on Friday.

A spokesperson with Bethesda North says the patient that was taken to their hospital was in fair condition, but has since been downgraded to serious condition.

Steven Rosenthal with Rock Gaming, LLC, the casino developer, said during a press conference Friday afternoon that none of the workers suffered life threatening injuries, and he wishes them a quick recovery. He also thanked Cincinnati police officers, fire departments and emergency responders for their response to the incident.

Rosenthal said an investigation has already begun by OSHA and the city building department. Work at the site will not resume until OSHA deems it safe.

The 354,000 square foot, $135 million casino was scheduled to open in spring of next year. Rosenthal said the casino was on schedule, and is still expected to open in Spring of 2013.

A parking garage collapsed at the site of the Cleveland Horseshoe casino in December of 2011. No one was hurt in that incident. Rosenthal said there is "no connection" between the incidents in Cleveland and Cincinnati. He said they are two different construction management companies and two different contractors.

John Morris, president of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., said the workers are in their thoughts and prayers.

"Our heartfelt prayers go out to the injured workers and their families," said Morris. "Safety, avoiding injuries and accidents is the number one goal of our member companies; but unfortunately accidents to occasionally occur.

"Messer Construction is an outstanding firm, with a world class record of training and safety for their workers and projects," Morris continued. "We are confident that they will quickly identify what occurred here, remedy the situation and continue to build Cincinnati an outstanding casino."

The casino is located at the former Broadway Commons site at Reading Road, Broadway and Court Streets.

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