Mérida, Yucatán — Four workers died and 10 were injured Monday when part of a huge construction site collapsed on Calle 60. Two workers are unaccounted for.
The 12-story hotel-retail complex, which will be called Paseo 60, is at the southern end of the hotel zone, directly behind the Hyatt Regency.
A crane operator lifting a concrete block caused the domino-effect collapse around 5:45 p.m., near the end of the work day, officials told local media. Some workers were below hoping to be assigned overtime.
According to authorities, the heavy piece of concrete fell on the slab of the seventh floor of the northeast wing.
Witnesses said the collapse sounded like an explosion. Concrete and steel rained down, creating a large plume of dust that covered the entire site, the street and neighboring properties. Workers below were trapped in the rubble.
Rescue personnel arrived in 10 minutes, closing the Calle 60 from Calle 37 to Avenida Colon, and Calle 35 from Calle 62 to the Paseo de Montejo.
More than 50 other workers there were evacuated while rescuers, aided by trained canines, looked for victims, two of whom remain unaccounted for. After 8 p.m., Army and Civil Protection personnel joined the rescue efforts.
Several of the injured were transferred to public hospitals, including the National Medical Center Ignacio García Téllez. Three of the injured have traumatic brain injuries.
Diario de Yucatán listed the deceased as José Raymundo Guillén González, Audomaro Ek Ya, Hérbert Mauri Vázquez Moo, all 24; and Irvin Sebastián Vázquez Moo, 20.
Some workers told reporters that a supervisor confiscated their cell phones to prevent information leaks.
Paseo 60 is configured in an asymmetrical twin-towers design, each side containing a hotel, shops and restaurants. Seven of 12 stories were already constructed. Its projected April opening is now in doubt.
The complex is being developed by businessman José Chapur Zahoul.
Source: Local media reports