Pasadena, CA Freeway Bridge Collapse, Oct 1972


Pasadena, Calif. (AP) -- The body of a fourth workman entombed in a 100-ton block of cement was found today by rescue workers with jackhammers who ripped through debris of a fallen 100-foot-high freeway bridge section.
Three other construction workers were found dead among timbers and steel beams earlier by rescue workers who swarmed over the wreckage despite the threat that other parts of the bridge might collapse on top of them.
Two other workmen were missing, and authorities feared they also may have been trapped in cement spilled when the 75-foot-long section of the new Foothill Freeway bridge plunged into a ravine Tuesday.
Twenty-one other workers were injured, six critically.
For more than an hour after the body of JESUS QUINONOS was found, rescuers were still trying to chip him out of the concrete.
Concrete was being poured into wooden forms when the center section of the north side of the bridge gave way, cascading into the ravine about two miles north of the Rose Bowl. The framework of the south side of the giant bridge, poured earlier, remained intact.
JIMMY FULTZ, 45, a workman who was standing on an adjacent span when the north side collapsed, said, "I heard it go 'whoom.' I ran back from where I was working. Those guys working on the deck in the center had no chance. I saw some of them go down with it all."
The bridge collapse was the latest in a series of accidents to plague California's freeway and highway building program. At least six other highway structures have collapsed in the last two years. Two persons have been killed.
State officials ordered an immediate three-pronged investigation by the Federal Highway Administration, the Division of Highways and Freeway Contractors of San Bernardino, the construction consortium supervising the project.
More than 300 men, most of them volunteer construction workers, worked through the night under a battery of powerful floodlights. Steel girders and large planks of lumber dangled menacingly from the tattered edges of the bridge above them.
The cause of Tuesday's collapse was not immediately determined, but police said it appeared that metal beams supporting the concrete forms on the north side failed to hold the additional weight when the concrete was poured.
The three men found dead earlier were identified as ROBERT J. QUEENAN, of Alhambra; HECTOR GONZALES, of Pico Rivera and JAMES E. GLASS of Los Angeles.

Delaware County Daily Times Chester Pennsylvania 1972-10-18