Work underway to remove concrete slab that prompted evacuations in SoMa

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Construction workers in San Francisco were busy trying to remove a broken piece of equipment that caused a concrete slab to lean atop a high-rise in the South of Market neighborhood.

The accident caused panic in the Financial District Wednesday afternoon forcing 16 buildings to be evacuated, and streets in the area to be closed.

The evacuation orders were lifted hours later when the slab was stabilized, except for a tech firm at the base of the building that's still off limits.

David Adell works in the shadow of the high rise, and many of his co-workers didn't show up for work Thursday. "I'm staying away from the skylights, and maybe the top level - just trying to stay as safe as possible," Adell said.

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The accident prompted city officials to halt construction at the site. "Our city has issued a notice of violation on 33 Tehama," Supervisor Jane Kim said.

Kim says the notice halts construction at the building except the repair work that's still going on. The notice gives the construction company and developer 48 hours to give the city a status report on the safety fixes.

Kim is demanding more answers. "Is this a one-time occurrence, or is there something at issue with our inspection process where this is allowed to take place," she told ABC7.

San Francisco Building Inspectors say this accident was the first of its kind. "In 11 years of doing this I've never heard of a construction incident like this," Inspector Bill Strawn said.

The building's Texas developer Hines tells ABC7 the situation is safe. "With the additional shoring added and the securing of braces...the forms are now in stable condition."

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