Collapsed Scaffolding Elevator Built Without Proper Permits, Report Says
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Oklahoma State Labor Department says the scaffolding elevator that collapsed in downtown Tulsa Tuesday was built without the proper permits.
Five men are recovering from their injuries after falling about 30 feet on to Cincinnati Avenue while working to take apart elevator scaffolding at the Tulsa Club Building. The state Department of Labor says the company taking down the elevator, Freedom Scaffold, does not have an elevator contractor license.
It also says the five employees do not have elevator mechanic's licenses. The Department of Labor said Wednesday it did issue a license for the elevator at some point in 2017, but not to Freedom Scaffold.
"We looked at the elevator. It passed all requirements it needed to pass. So we granted a temporary license for the life of the job to Ross Group,” Oklahoma Department of Labor Director of Communications Christina Foss said.
She said at some point, Freedom Scaffold was hired to tear down the elevator. It was used to bring workers and tools up to the 11th floor.
"We don't need to inspect the teardown, no,” Foss said. “They just needed to have a licensed mechanic or contractor with that company."
News On 6 stopped by Freedom Scaffold for a response and were told the owner wasn't in Wednesday. He did answer our phone call.
AMY: "Are you available today for an interview?
JEREMY: "Not currently, right now. We're doing our investigation. So, we can reach out to you. We know you just dropped a business card off. And we'll reach out to you later on with a comment,” Freedom Scaffold Owner and Manager Jeremy Reeder said.
The company's website says aside from Oklahoma, it operates in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Texas.
Ross Group released a statement Tuesday saying in part: "Our thoughts go out to our colleagues at Freedom Scaffold who were injured during the incident. Thankfully, no one sustained a life-threatening injury, and we are working with the appropriate authorities to secure and clean the site.”
The statement adds, "During this time, please keep those who were injured in your thoughts."
Ross Group said no one was available for comment Wednesday. OSHA is taking over the investigation.
News On 6 reached out to OSHA to see if Freedom Scaffold has any history with the agency, and did not hear back.