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Fatal building collapse in Pampa prompts OSHA investigation

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The fatal building collapse in Pampa over the weekend has prompted an investigation from government agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The cause of the building collapse that killed one worker and injured another hasn't been determined yet. But through an OSHA investigation, those involved are hoping to find a way to make sure it never happens again.

"Demolition of equipment by nature is somewhat risky or difficult," said Ron Nelson, President of Open Range Engineering Services, the site manager for the Pampa Energy Center.

This weekend, that risk was met by disaster when one man was killed and another injured as the building they were dismantling collapsed. Demolition was halted immediately and within days, OSHA opened an investigation. Part of a routine OSHA investigation includes coming to the site of the incident, inspecting that location thoroughly and interviewing any witnesses or other employees involved.

"They review the history of the company," said OSHA Spokesperson Juan Rodriguez. "For example, has the company been in violation of OSHA standards in the past? They will look for equipment failure."

But Nelson said the two contractors involved, Universal Wrecking and Iron Rock, were actually selected because of their spotless safety records.

"You know that was part of the process in selecting contractors as selecting people that had zero OSHA incident ratings or things in the past," added Nelson. "We've hired what we believe to be competent, capable people that have had a very unfortunate accident."

OSHA has up to six months to complete its investigation.

"If violations of OSHA standards are filed, then OSHA will issue citations which will accompany monetary penalties for the company," added Rodriguez.

ONLy then will we know if this horrible accident, could have been avoided.

"We have great concern for the family and it's a very disappointing situation we find ourselves in," said Nelson. "We're going to do our very best to make sure we don't find ourselves in a situation like this ever again."

There are currently two other active tenants at the Pampa Energy Center, Flogistix and Enbridge Energy. Their business is unrelated to the weekend incident, and both are back to business as usual this week.