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MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) — The three men killed in the collapse of a scaffolding while working on a broadcast tower in Miami-Dade Wednesday were employed by a company with a history of safety violations.
Miami Gardens police and a crime scene team were on the scene, as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began investigating the Wednesday collapse.
The yellow structure the men were on, called a gin pole, was attached to a 100-story tall broadcast tower used by channels 7 and 10. The men on the scaffold were working for a company called Tower King II and were killed outright.
A nearby resident said the collapse in the tower field near the Turnpike and U.S. 441 sounded like a hand grenade.
“I called 911, that’s all I could do,” said resident Eric Garner. “And I pray for the guys, you know, their families.”
A spokesperson for OSHA, Michael Aquino, provided CBS4 News with documents showing Tower King II was cited in 2011 for three “serious” safety violations after a routine inspection. In 2008, the company was cited for two “serious“ safety violations, after receiving a “referral” from a third party.
The precise nature of the violations was not available. OSHA says the company settled all of the violations by paying fines and/or coming into compliance.
The company’s website says it has “built and erected some of the largest, heaviest tower structures in North America,“ and “will work with you to complete your project in a timely, cost-effective manner.”
The men were identified as Marcus Goffena, 31, from Sydney, Ohio, Brachton Barber, 23, of Longwood, Florida, and Benito Rodriguez, 35, of Tampa.
CBS4 News reached Kevin Barber, listed on the company’s website as the “principal” of Tower King II, on his cell phone. When the reporter introduced himself, Barber hung up.
OSHA’s Spokesman, Aquino, said the law requires the investigation of the scaffold collapse be completed within six months.