Workers raised concerns before Boise hangar collapse

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Dive Brief:

  • Workers building a Boise, Idaho, airplane hangar that collapsed and killed three people in January allegedly informed supervisors of concerns about bent beams, snapped cables and other structural issues, the Idaho Statesman reported.
  • Employees on the Boise Airport jobsite brought up the issues on Jan. 30, the day before the privately owned hangar caved in while it was under construction,  according to a police report obtained by the Statesman.
  • Meridian, Idaho-based Big D Builders was constructing the project, the company told Construction Dive after the collapse. The three killed in the collapse were company co-founder Craig Durrant, 59; Mario Sontay Tzi, 32; and Mariano Coc Och, 24.

Dive Insight:

At least two people employed by Big D Builders told the police that they had voiced concerns to the project’s supervisor, and a supervisor for Boise-based Inland Crane, which was working on the project, said he told Durrant the beams “did not look right,” the Idaho Statesman reported.

Another crane operator allegedly told the police the project lacked sufficient support for overhead beams, calling the practice “very uncommon,” and saying there were “corners being cut.”

The Boise Police Department sent its findings to OSHA on Feb. 2. The agency does not comment publicly on ongoing investigations, which can often take months. 

In an interview with police, Dennis Durrant, owner of Big D Builders and brother of Craig, acknowledged that beams were “bowing” before the incident and said he had contacted an unnamed manufacturer due to inadequate supports for the hangar’s frame, the Statesman reported.

The brothers were working in the middle of the jobsite when they heard breaking noises and ran for the perimeter, and Dennis Durrant told police that the building “came down within seconds,” according to the Statesman.

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