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Video shows explosion involving worker at construction site of San Jose hospital

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Dramatic cell phone video shows an accident at the construction site of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose. (KGO-TV )

Dramatic cellphone video shows an accident at the construction site of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose.

Santa Clara County says the video is one example why it's trying to fire the contractor from a major expansion project.

The general contractor is Turner Construction and two days in a row, Santa Clara County has been hammering away at the company for delays in completing a new 168-bed building. On Tuesday, the county showed an astonishing video of an accident involving a worker.

County officials say the video appeared mysteriously in their email. They don't know the source, but it shows an incident from almost one year ago on Sept. 3, 2014 as Turner and a subcontractor were adding a new section of steam pipe to heat a new hospital bed building.

Worker Joel Ferreria starts to climb out of the underground vault. Popping noises can be heard as the hot steam built up pressure. And then an explosion occurs.

The worker was saved from being scalded as co-workers pulled him out. The county says Turner Construction was the designer and builder of the steampipe project.

"Turner has let us know that they've been designing the system over again since this accident," said Jeff Draper, facilities and fleet director. "It's taken them almost a year."

The video is being used to discredit Turner for what the county says is a two-year delay in the hospital expansion.

"You can't finish the bed building until this particular section of the pipe is all done and all taken care of," Draper said. "So, yes, it's a critical delay to the project."

In a warning letter to Turner, the county complained it has never received safety reports on the incident.

Turner told ABC7 News, "When this incident happened in 2014, we conducted a complete investigation and provided the results to the county."

The state's industrial safety agency, Cal-OSHA, has no record of the incident. The worker did file for workers' compensation, complaining of neck, digestive and nerve distress. He remains off the job.

As the war of words escalates, the county poked Turner for using the poppycock in denying the contractor was more focused on building Levi's Stadium.

Related Topics:
healthconstructionbusinessLevi's Stadiumcaught on cameraconstruction accidentexplosioncal OSHASan Jose
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