Two workers killed by granite slabs in San Francisco

Two workers were killed by granite slabs that fell on them as they worked in a shipping container in San Francisco.
February 7, 2014 9:36:00 PM PST
A day on the job ended in tragedy for two workers at a San Francisco granite company. Two workers died after being trapped under giant slabs of stone that fell on them as they were unloading a truck. The wooden supports that were holding the slabs in place may have been knocked loose in transit, leading to disaster.

Shards of shattered white marble litter the ground in front of Galaxy Granite Inc.'s warehouse Friday. Firefighters arrived to find a manager and another worker trapped under giant stone slabs that apparently tumbled out of a shipping container.

"We had to break several pieces of granite to remove them from underneath the granite," SFFD Batt. Chief Jack Cremen said.

Authorities say the manager died at the scene. The owner's wife told us he'd worked here for 12 years and was a loyal employee who has no family in the Bay Area. She says her own husband was nearly crushed, but got out of the way just in time.

The slabs weren't that thick, but they were big and they were heavy, said Victor Melero, who was there when it happened. He was among the workers who rushed to the rescue, but he says it was too late.

Cal/OSHA's investigating what led to the tragedy, but to hear the owner's wife tell it, it was a terrible accident. The slabs of stone were leaned up against each other on wooden a-frames. She explained it seems one of those a-frames shifted as the slabs were being transported across the ocean in a shipping container. As workers prepared to unload it, the rock slabs tumbled out.

Melero told ABC7 News the manager was trapped under the middle of the slab, covered up to his neck. He said the other worker was clipped by the corner of the slab as it fell out.

GGI Granite held an all staff meeting, and then closed for the rest of the day.

The owner went to the hospital to see the worker's family. His wife saysthis is the only serious accident in their 29 years in business.

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