Construction for the California High-Speed Rail (HSR) came to a screeching halt Saturday when two construction workers were pinned after a heavy amount of steel fell.

The site is right next to Highway 99 and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Foundation shooting range. CHP Sgt. Mike Trenholm said the agency first got calls about the accident around 2:30 p.m.

The two workers were maneuvering around a column of rebar on the site when it collapsed and fell onto them, according to Trenholm. Another column of rebar nearby fell as well.

Multiple agencies, including the Fresno Police Department and Fresno Fire Department, responded to the accident. The two men were taken to CRMC via ground ambulance with moderate to major injuries.

HSR issued this statement on the accident: 

  • “High-speed rail employee safety is our top priority and our primary concern at this time. We will be conducting an investigation to determine the cause of today’s situation at teh San Joaquin River Viaduct construction site. All employees involved have been evaluated and or taken to area hospitals for further evaluation and work on the construction site has stopped.”

Trenholm said other agencies are investigating as well.

“The CHP is going to conduct an investigation in association with Cal/OSHA,” he said. “They’re going to come out and do their own independent investigation to determine what happened out here.”

The two workers have non-life threatening injuries and are staying overnight at CRMC as a precaution. One of the injuries include a fractured back, according to a co-worker who wished to stay anonymous.