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Construction worker dies in 7-story fall at Arlington hotel

Co-workers say a man who fell to his death at the Arlington Court Suites hotel wasn't wearing a harness.
Co-workers say a man who fell to his death at the Arlington Court Suites hotel wasn't wearing a harness. (Gerald Martineau For The Washington Post)
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By Rick Rojas
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 22, 2010

A construction worker fell seven stories to his death Wednesday morning at a hotel in Arlington County, police said.

The 35-year-old man was installing a balcony railing in a room at the Arlington Court Suites when he fell five stories and crashed through a two-story glass atrium at the front of the building. The man, whose name was not released, died at the scene.

Co-workers told WUSA (Channel 9) that the man was not tied into a harness while he installed the railing.

Arlington police and the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry were investigating the death as an industrial accident.

The man worked for Hallmark Iron Works, a Newington, Va.-based producer of metal railings and stairways, and he had been an employee for "quite a few years," said Cherie Faith, the company's human resources director.

Faith was emotional in describing what a "tremendous loss" the man's death is for the relatively small, close-knit company. She did not release his name or any other information in deference to his family.

Because it was a labor-related incident, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry started an investigation Wednesday, said Paul Schilinksi, director of the agency's Northern Virginia regional office.


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