One man fell to his death and another was injured Monday afternoon when a work crew's scaffolding collapsed at a waterfront condominium complex in downtown Charleston.
The men were working on windows at Laurens Place, beside the Charleston Maritime Center, when the metal scaffolding gave way about 4 p.m., said Charles Francis, police public information officer.
One man plunged to the ground and was pronounced dead at the scene, Francis said. The other fell into Charleston Harbor. He was rushed to Medical University Hospital for treatment, Francis said. The extent of his injuries could not be determined.
The Charleston County Coroner's Office confirmed the death, but authorities did not release the name of the man or the company he worked for.
Laurens Place, on Wharfside Street, is between the Maritime Center and Union Pier, a tony complex with sweeping views of the harbor. The incident occurred at a section of condos with balconies facing out on the water, between two docks.
Witnesses said they saw at least three workers on the scaffolding shortly before it went down. The scaffolding was about 20 feet off the ground, and workers had set up an extension ladder on top that reached to the third floor, they said.
Craig Morris saw the setup as he set out on the Carolina Belle. "When I saw that I was like, 'What are they thinking?' That is so dangerous."
When the boat returned, Morris saw the crumpled scaffolding and emergency workers surrounding the scene.
The scaffolding and extension ladder lay in pieces, stretching from a path beside the condos across a jumble of rocks leading to the water. The dead man's body appeared to have landed on the path, just before the rocks.
Four co-workers of the men sat behind the yellow police tape, pacing and looking down at the ground as they waited to give their statements to authorities. They declined to comment when they finally left the area shortly before 6 p.m.