Residents near Sanford react to construction accident

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 9:28 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - On Thursday, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue and Sioux Falls Police responded to an accident at a construction site and three construction workers were left injured.

The accident happened at the site of the new Sanford Orthopedic Hospital. A small portion of 22nd Street was blocked off for about an hour. More details have slowly been released during the day and more information is expected in the coming days.

A few weeks ago, spectators looked on as Sanford celebrated a milestone with construction workers signing and laying in place a ceremonial final beam to the foundation of one of multiple projects.

On Thursday, passersby stopped to watch a different scene, as emergency crews were called to the site of the future Sanford Orthopedic Hospital.

“I was outside, just got home from work and I went out the front door to take the dogs out and I heard this crash - metal stuff. I didn’t think nothing of it. And I went back in the house and I seen one firetruck you know and I looked out the window. I heard fire trucks coming. I was like, ‘What’s going on out here?’” said homeowner Vicki Wakeman.

At around 2:00 p.m., a serious accident took place. Sanford officials say that a section of scaffolding collapsed.

“You don’t see that every day. Especially five firetrucks and cops running down the road to it,” Wakeman explained.

Colton Albers was one of many in the surrounding neighborhood who were curious and worried for the safety of the workers. With so much construction, residents in the area have become accustomed to loud noises nearby. This one was different, though.

“I was laying in my bed and I heard a big boom, so I came outside and saw some firetrucks and some ambulances and I was wondering what was going on,” Albers said.

He lives just two houses down from the Children’s Hospital, which is adjacent to the site of the incident. Thankfully, everyone was accounted for after the accident. The three injured workers were taken to the emergency room to treat their injuries. Today serves as a reminder that construction is a dangerous field. Albers was given time to reflect on his own future.

“How dangerous it could be because I’m planning on going into the construction field and just seeing that brings it to life. People could get seriously hurt, even die,” Albers said.

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue and Sioux Falls Police worked fast. Less than three hours after the accident, all first responder vehicles were cleared out of the site.

Albers says that despite what he saw today, he’s still set on working in construction for his future career. His friend works in construction, which sparked his interest. He also tried it out at the Career and Technical Education Academy in Sioux Falls.

Sanford released a statement shortly after the accident, saying, “We are unable to comment on the details of the injuries and will relay more information once it becomes available. Our thoughts are with those who were impacted by this incident and we want to express our gratitude to local emergency officials for responding quickly and efficiently to the site.”