Contractor email exchange talks about airport display safety - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Contractor email exchange talks about airport display safety prior to fatal collapse

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A judge released Monumental Contracting Services Wednesday from the lawsuit over the fatal collapse of a display at the Birmingham airport last year. (abc3340.com) A judge released Monumental Contracting Services Wednesday from the lawsuit over the fatal collapse of a display at the Birmingham airport last year. (abc3340.com)
BIRMINGHAM - AL -

A judge released Monumental Contracting Services Wednesday from the lawsuit over the fatal collapse of a display at the Birmingham airport. It provided new information about the heaviness of the flight displays and the lack of bracing.

March 22, 2013 - a flight display or MUFIDS was removed from the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. It had just fallen onto the Bresette family killing ten year old Luke and injuring his mother and two siblings. The job required seven men.

The display's weight was a major safety concern flagged by monumental contracting service January 7, 2013. Monumental crews were assembling and installing the first of four displays. In an email, the project manager wrote to other contractors, "there are major concerns about the top heaviness and weight component factor with the three-part MUFIDS once assembled... please provide direction for me to stabilize the MUFIDS for safety concerns."

The initial response from Fish Construction who made the displays was "went back through the architectural and red line drawings and there is nothing requesting floor anchorage. Typically they are free standing."

But Monumental still had concerns about it toppling over. The crew leader was emailed by his boss, "lay them down on the ground and do not assemble any more in place until this issue is resolved."

According to the depositions, Brasfield & Gorrie took over installation. From that moment on, Monumental had no involvement in the displays and never touched the one that fell.

But depositions show conversations continued with the KPS architect suggesting using straps and Brasfield & Gorrie wanting anchors. One of its employees stated "all of them needed to be anchored." 

When Brasfield a& Gorrie's project manager was asked if it was true, no anchors, straps or any device was used to secure the faulty display? He responded, "correct."

Video from the day of the fatal accident doesn't show the removal of any bracing.

Brasfield & Gorrie could not be reached for comment.

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