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Construction worker plummets 53 floors from LA skyscraper, dies

By Shawn Price   |   Updated March 18, 2016 at 7:07 AM

LOS ANGELES, March 18 (UPI) -- A construction worker plummeted 53 floors to his death, landing on a moving car on a Los Angeles street Thursday afternoon, police said.

The worker, who was not identified, was an electrician on his second day of work at the skyscraper, and in the area of the building above where windows had been installed.

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On the floors above the windows, eight-foot-high barricades wind around the perimeter. The man was not reported to be wearing a safety harness or helmet.

The construction company said in a statement safety standards were not a factor in the man's death.

"We have confirmed with [the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health] and [the Los Angeles Police Department] that the incident which occurred at the Wilshire Grand project site today was not work-related," the Turner Construction statement said. "After an initial on-site investigation, CalOSHA has confirmed that no fall-protection violations were observed. Our hearts go out to the family of the deceased. We are also sending our deepest sympathies to our loyal and dedicated workers, for whom today's tragedy is deeply saddening. We will do everything we can to understand what happened here today and prevent it from happening again."

Work on the Wilshire Grand was promptly halted for the day and was canceled for Friday.

The woman who was driving the car along Wilshire Boulevard when the incident happened was examined by paramedics and taken to the hospital, where it was determined she was "fine, but in shock."

Chris Martin, head of the architectural firm that designed the building, said there was no reason for electrical work to be done at the edge of the building.

The man's employers will join police and CalOSHA officials in their investigation into his death.

The Wilshire Grand tower, when completed, will be LA's tallest building at just under 1,100 feet.

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