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Published: Saturday, 1/28/2012 - Updated: 3 years ago

Cincy casino floor falls; several workers injured


CINCINNATI -- A floor collapsed into a V shape Friday at the construction site of a new Ohio casino, sending workers sliding to the ground, leaving one worker with serious injuries, and hurting at least a dozen others.

The collapse occurred shortly before 8 a.m. as a crew poured a section of concrete floor at the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati site, said Steve Rosenthal, of co-developer Rock Gaming LLC.

The collapse occurred just weeks after a similar accident at a Cleveland casino with the same developers.

The worker with serious injuries was downgraded from fair condition at a Cincinnati hospital Friday night, several hours after the collapse. Authorities had said earlier that no one sustained life-threatening injuries.

Fire Chief Richard Braun, who was one of the first on the scene after the collapse, said that a beam supporting the floor "sheared away" and the floor came down while the workers were on top of it. No one was underneath the 60-foot-by-60-foot section of floor.

The injured were sent to hospitals with what appeared to be mostly bruises and bumps, and possibly some broken bones, the fire chief said. All workers were accounted for, according to Mr. Rosenthal.

Jo Ann Davidson, who is chairman of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, said she knew of one worker having a broken elbow and another a broken hip.

Jessie Folmar, a spokesman for Cincinnati-based Messer Construction Co., said the company was trying to learn what happened. Messer has a clean safety record with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration since 2006, according to the agency's database.

Its last Ohio incident was that year, when it was penalized for four serious violations and paid a penalty of $3,125. One involved a lack of adequate fall protection for workers.

OSHA inspectors, as well as investigators from the state, were looking into the accident. The developers said work won't resume until the construction team and authorities say it is safe.

Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati is a $400 million development under construction in the northeast corner of the city's center and is expected to open in spring 2013, an official with the company told an Ohio House panel at a hearing this week. The Cincinnati casino construction project is not affiliated with Penn National, the developer of the East Toledo Hollywood Casino.

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