MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A chaotic day on Brickell Avenue when several pieces of debris came flying off a building under construction that injured five people and led to the death of another in an attempt to get away.
It was a cascade of lumber and metal from the Echo Brickell project near 1450 Brickell Avenue that crushed a car and sent people scurrying.
“We heard a loud crashing noise and I looked up and saw all the debris start crashing down on the street,” witness Rudy Tomarchio said.
A man fleeing the debris suffered a heart attack. Rescue crews tried rushing him to Mercy Hospital, but he died during the ride.
According to officials, one of the pieces of debris was a platform from the top of the building.
“Apparently a big piece, a big chunk fell. They say it’s the wind, but then a lot of debris has been falling and some of the people that have been injured is because of the debris,” said Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.
Chopper4 video shows what ensued afterwards – streets were closed off to traffic out of concern for more falling debris.
People who work in nearby buildings snapped pictures of the debris that littered the street afterward.
One of the largest pieces of debris fell on top of a car.
“The whole roof and the whole front shield of the car was shattered,” said another witness, Jio Velazquez.
Witnesses say Good Samaritans ran to help get the woman out.
“We ended up transporting the driver, a young lady who sustained some injury,” said Miami Fire Capt. Ignatius Carroll.
That young lady’s sister, Clara Garcia, said, “She is doing OK. She will stay overnight because she is in a lot of pain.”
A total of six were transported. Two were construction workers, one of those workers very lucky.
It was a rush to Jackson Memorial Hospital for Thomas Brown.
His son, 34-year-old construction worker Quincy Williams, was rushed to hospital.
He’s fine now, but the wait for news was intense.
“He saw debris coming down. He tried to run for it, but it caught him, said it landed on his head. He has lacerations on top of his head,” said Lydann Brown. “They say he was wearing his helmet and that helped him out a whole lot.”
“Unfortunately, a section of formwork has fallen from the top of the structure onto Brickell Avenue,” said Echo Brickell, the Property Markets Group. “We are currently working with city officials, the fire department and police to secure the site and to provide any and all assistance and information as needed. We are investigating the situation with our general contractor. At this time our thoughts and prayers are with those affected. We will release further details as they become available.”
Locals took to social media to share what was going on in the area.