US & World

2 Killed After Construction Scaffolding Collapses Near Disney World

A section of the scaffolding collapsed early Wednesday at the site of the planned JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort, a $282 million project with 516 rooms.
A section of the scaffolding collapsed early Wednesday at the site of the planned JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort, a $282 million project with 516 rooms.
Orange County Fire Rescue/AP

After a scaffolding collapsed early Wednesday, two construction workers fell to their deaths at a site near the Disney World resort in central Florida.

A third person had a near-miss. The worker "almost fell but he was able to hold onto something and several workers were able to assist him and he was not injured," Orange County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Ingrid Tejada-Monforte told reporters.

The incident happened at the site of the planned JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort, a $282 million project with 516 rooms from Marriott International that has been under construction. It is surrounded by Disney resorts but is not a Disney property.

The two workers who were killed, identified by police as 34-year-old Lorenzo Zavala and 46-year-old Jerry Bell, were pronounced dead at the scene by rescue workers.

The sheriff's spokeswoman said there were about 20 other workers at the site at the time of the scaffolding collapse, which happened when they were pouring concrete. A fourth worker was also reportedly on the scaffolding.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office has launched a death investigation, Tejada-Monforte added. "We want to make sure that it was accidental," she said. It's not clear why the scaffolding gave way.

The Orange County Fire Rescue said the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also involved in the investigation.

"It's a very sad, tragic incident that occurred here early this morning, and we do have some family members on scene," Tejada-Monforte said.

Other workers were shocked and confused by the incident. Joe Colon, who works on the site as an iron welder, spoke to the Orlando Sentinel.

"I'm just thinking of where it could've collapsed, what part," Colon said. "OSHA's there every day, they go around taking pictures, that's why I don't get it. ... I wonder if I knew them."

A Marriott International spokesperson told NPR that the construction is managed by developer DCS Investment Holdings and that Marriott International is "deeply saddened by the tragic incident that took place earlier today."

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