Los Angeles

Questions Surround Fatal DTLA Construction Fall

The man who plummeted to his death from the 53rd floor of the Wilshire Grand Hotel project in downtown Los Angeles Thursday afternoon had no clearance to work above the third floor, according to authorities.

Joseph Sabbatino, 36, who was identified by the LA County Coroner's officials on Friday, fell from the skyscraper just after noon Thursday, landing on a woman's car. The fall was initially believed to be a work-related accident, but Turner Construction later said it was not. It is also unclear if the worker was wearing any safety gear and how, even with barriers allegedly in place, he managed to get so close to the building's edge.

The massive project will again sit empty in downtown Los Angeles Friday out of respect for the electrician who fell 53 stories to his death on just his second day on the job.

“On behalf of our whole project team, we extend our condolences to the family,” said Chris Martin, chief executive of Martin Project Management.

Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers say the tragedy hits close to home and reminds them of the dangers of the job.

“We as a family, we are going to make donations and get together for them,” said electrician Miguel Aquino. “When he hear about a brother that's in an accident... we know the dangers.”

The Cal/OSHA and LAPD investigation has revealed the fall was not work-related, and it appears there were no "fall protection" violations.

“Above six feet we are supposed to be tied up with a harness and tied off to a beam,” Aquino, the man’s fellow electrician, said.

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