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Spinnaker Tower Remains Closed After Fatal Balcony Collapse

The south tower of Spinnaker Condominium Complex remains closed
Vince Conti

The south tower of Spinnaker Condominium Complex remains closed, as of Feb. 28, after a balcony collapse killed a construction worker who was working on the building, refurbishing cement, Feb. 24.  

By Christopher South

SEA ISLE CITY – Mayor Leonard Desiderio, during his report to Sea Isle City Council Feb. 28, said, “The city Construction Office has issued an unsafe structure notice to prevent all access to the south tower of the Spinnaker (Condominium) Complex, except for personnel designated by the Spinnaker’s engineer of record.”
Desiderio was speaking in reference to a fatal accident Feb. 24, when an eighth-floor balcony collapsed onto the seventh-floor balcony below it, pinning a construction worker underneath. 
The accident occurred at 2:20 p.m., and the worker, Jose Pereira, 43, of Philadelphia, was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:52 p.m. 
A construction crew from Ferguson Contracting Inc., of Yardley, Pennsylvania, had been working on the building’s exterior when the collapse took place. 
According to a spokesperson from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workers were refurbishing cement at the time of the collapse.
“I can confirm that OSHA is investigating Ferguson Construction related to the balcony collapse and resulting fatality that occurred on Feb. 24 in Sea Isle City,” OSHA spokesperson Joanna Hawkins said, adding that Ferguson does not have any prior OSHA inspection history.
Hawkins said OSHA has six months to conduct the investigation and release its findings. No further information is currently available regarding the OSHA investigation.
According to Desiderio, the Spinnaker has hired a contractor to stabilize the northern side of the south tower, where the balcony collapse occurred. He said the city’s Construction Office has also issued notices to all units of the north tower that have cantilevered decks saying access to the decks is prohibited. 
“All of these unsafe structure notices will stay in effect until a full engineering report is received from the Spinnaker’s engineer of record stating that these areas are safe to be reoccupied,” Desiderio said.
The city’s construction official has been communicating with the state Department of Community Affairs’ Division of Codes and Standards and will continue to monitor this situation as repair work proceeds and the investigation continues.

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