California Railroad Bridge Collapses, Kills Worker

June 2, 2014

A California construction worker died from a fall after a railroad bridge he was cutting collapsed and pulled him down to a freeway, authorities said.

Okesene Faasalele, 59, of Long Beach, was attached to the bridge over state Route 91 by a harness and cutting part of the structure in half when it buckled, California Department of Transportation spokeswoman Terri Kasinga said.

“He rode the bridge down,” Kasinga said. “Before it hit the ground, it twisted and catapulted him into the pavement.”

The worker was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The accident closed freeway lanes for hours.

The overcrossing was being demolished as part of a $232 million freeway-widening project.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

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