Two workers suffered minor injuries yesterday when a 100-foot-high scaffold attached to a hotel being constructed in Northwest Washington apparently was blown over by gusting winds, showering an adjacent construction site with debris.
Workers at the unfinished, nine-story Westin Hotel, located on the Southeast corner of the intersection of 24th and M streets NW, said that strong winds apparently caused a 30-foot-wide section of scaffolds to fall west across 24th Street into the construction site of the Park Hyatt Hotel.
A worker at the Hyatt site, Victor Dinante, 29, of 800 Ivy St., Arlington, was treated for minor injuries at George Washington University Medical Center and released, police said.
Another worker, whose name was not available, was treated at the scene for minor cuts and scrapes, according to a D.C. fire department spokesman.
Workers at the Westin Hotel site said strong winds, which according to the National Weather Service gusted to 40 mph in the District yesterday, apparently whipped through the partially completed building and collected in a plastic covering attached to the outside of the scaffold.
The plastic, which protects workers from the elements, acted like a "sail," yanking the scaffold off the building, workers said. They said no one was on the scaffold when the incident occurred at 10 a.m.
It toppled about 60 feet across 24th Street, and the top portion fell into the adjacent construction site, where most workers scrambled to safety.
The scaffold was attached to the building by pieces of steel wire spaced about 12 feet apart, according to Robert Middleton, a labor union representative at the site, who said the scaffold was "rocking" in the wind before it collapsed.
Brick foreman Melvin Moore said the D.C. Office of Occupational Safety and Health visited the site six weeks ago and gave it a "clean bill of health."