Two Injured in Fall From Cowboys Stadium Roof

Two workers were hurt in a fall from the roof at Cowboys Stadium Thursday morning, Arlington police said.

Assistant Fire Chief Don Crowson said the two were working on the top hatch of the retractable-roof venue and "they slipped" around 7:20 a.m.  and fell 50 to 70 feet before landing on a parapet, a low wall along the edge of the roof.

The department's technical rescue team arrived and secured the men in rescue harnesses on the ledge where they were found. The men were then moved to a hatch on the east side of the stadium before being brought to the ground in a freight elevator.

Crowson said the men were not wearing the proper safety equipment.

"Had they been wearing their protection, we probably wouldn't be here today," he said. "They probably would have fallen a couple of feet and would have been caught by their rescue equipment."

One of the men suffered head, chest and leg injuries and was flown by air ambulance to Parkland Hospital in Dallas.  The second man suffered significant back injuries and was taken by ground ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, authorities said.

Cowboys spokesperson Rich Dalrymple said the workers were on the roof for ongoing maintenance that will continue through the new year.

Dalrymple said he did not know if the cold weather was a factor in the fall or if the roof was icy. The National Weather Service reported temperatures were near freezing at the time of the accident Thursday morning.

The men were subcontractors working for Manhattan Construction, the company that built the $1.2 billion stadium as well as Rangers Ballpark next door.

U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration records show that Manhattan Construction was cited in June 2009 for worker safety violations. The violations pertained to personal protection devices and fall protection procedures.

Records indicate the contractor paid a $4000 fine. It is not clear whether the June inspection was the result of an accident or a random visit.

Last summer OSHA began a new policy of random visits, instead of just responding to accidents or complaints. 
OSHA said Thursday that the agency is investigating the incident at Cowboys Stadium.

A Manhattan Construction spokesperson said the company is cooperating with the investigation, but declined further comment. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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