Three people injured in construction accident

Broken trusses and the overturned scissor lift from the construction site of the new Dollar General in Portland sent three men to the hospital, including one who had to be sent via life flight to Skyline Medical Center due to the seriousness of his injuries.

Leader photo by Terry McCormick

Three workers were injured -- including one who had to be transported by helicopter -- Thursday afternoon when trusses at the new Dollar General being constructed on TN 52 East in Portland collapsed.

According to Portland Fire Chief Al West, whose department responded to the scene along with EMS and police officers, one of the workers was on the roof nailing the trusses when a board broke, setting off a chain reaction of trusses collapsing.

"They were working on the trusses and had about two-thirds of the trusses up. One of the workers was up on the roof nailing the trusses when one of the boards broke, and it just started a domino effect," West said. "There was a worker underneath in a scissor lift and it turned it over and threw him out, and the trusses collapsed onto a worker on the floor. We had to free him from all of that."

According to West, one worker was transported by ambulance to the Portland Regional Airport where and Air Evac helicopter transported him to Skyline Medical Center with serious injuries.

Another worker was transported to Skyline via ambulance, and the third worker, the one who was on the roof when the truss broke, was transported to Portland Tri-Star ER with hip and ankle injuries.

Names of the victims of the accident have not yet been released. A phone call to the Dollar General Corp. seeking comment on the matter on Monday was not returned before The Leader's deadline.

Following the accident, the area was shut down by TOSHA pending an investigation into the matter. No work has been done in the area since, as the collapsed trusses, the overturned scissor lift remain just as they were after the accident.

Construction on the new Dollar General store began several weeks ago at the locationt. Portland already has three other Dollar General locations in town, one on TN 52 West, one on South Broadway and one on the old section of North Broadway near the Kentucky state line.

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