Construction worker dies after falling from high-rise in Downtown Los Angeles

An electrician was killed today when he fell about 50 stories from the Wilshire Grand Tower under construction in downtown Los Angeles and landed on a vehicle, but the building project's general contractor reported the victim had no reason to be above the structure's third floor.

Paramedics sent to the 600 block of South Figueroa Street about 12:35p.m. pronounced the man dead at the scene, said Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The woman driving the vehicle was not physically injured but was taken to a hospital for further evaluation, Stewart said.

It was the victim's second day on the job, according to Lisa Gritzner, a spokeswoman for Turner Construction Co. of Anaheim, the project's general contractor. His name was withheld, pending notification of his family.

He was employed by Irvine-based ASSI Security Inc., according to Erika Monterroza of Cal/OSHA, the state's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The circumstances of the death were under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department and Cal/OSHA, which opened an inspection with both ASSI and Turner Construction, Monterroza said.

"We have confirmed with CalOSHA and (the) LAPD that the incident which occurred at the Wilshire Grand project site today was not work-related," according to a company statement. "After an initial onsite investigation Cal
OSHA has confirmed that no fall-protection violations were observed.

"Our hearts go out to the family of the deceased. We are also sending our deepest sympathies to our loyal and dedicated workers for whom today's tragedy is deeply saddening."

Gritzner said the man was not engaged in work-related activities when he fell and was not authorized to be on the floor from which he fell.

The work he was doing on the building did not require him to be above the building's third floor, Gritzner said.

The 73-story Wilshire Grand is being developed by Korean Air, which is owned by Hanjin International Corp., at a cost topping $1 billion. The high-rise will be 1,100 feet when completed in 2017, surpassing the height of the
U.S. Bank Tower, the tallest building in Los Angeles at 1,018 feet.

Turner closed the work site for the balance of the day and indicated it would remain closed Friday and that counselors would be made available to those affected by the fatality.

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