fort lauderdale – A worker involved in a crane accident on Interstate 95 in Fort Lauderdale died after an incident that closed the highway for hours and caused traffic chaos, authorities said Tuesday.
Southbound lanes of I-95 between Sunrise and Broward Avenues reopened Monday evening after being closed for most of the day.
Officials said the incident happened shortly before 11 a.m. when a crane lifted some piles and collapsed due to ground movement below. It hit a cherry picker or aerial work platform, also known as a bucket truck.
“The ground beneath the crane caved in and caused movement, causing the pile to fall toward the boom where the workers were,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Golan.
Two workers on a bucket truck fell 30 feet to the ground.
The worker who died was classified as a critical condition following the accident. Another person involved in the accident is in stable condition.
Officials have not yet identified anyone involved in the accident.
Authorities said three firefighters and police officers were involved in a crash while working at the scene and were taken to a local hospital for minor injuries.
The crash, which occurred during the mid-morning commute, resulted in prolonged traffic jams, with some motorists reporting being stuck in one traffic jam after another for up to an hour.
“I was stuck in the same place for almost two hours. It came to a complete stop about a quarter mile before the Broward Boulevard exit,” said Guadaloupe Flores, who works as an I-95 courier. It’s hot. We’re nervous. Worried I’m going to run out of gas. How everybody’s going to get off the highway.”
Flores said she was able to escape two hours later when traffic in the southbound lane was diverted to the northbound lane. Now she worries about injured construction workers.
“I feel bad for them. I thought something worse happened to them. My prayers go out to their families. I hope they get well,” she said.