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Bridge builder to pay $293,000 fine for deadly accident

A bridge-building company cited in a Toledo, Ohio accident that killed four workers has agreed to pay $293,000 in fines and increase safety oversight, OSHA said Thursday.

Fru-Con Construction Corp. agreed that it will now have at least one independent consultant at all of its bridge projects in the U.S., according to OSHA.

The agency last year said the company failed to properly secure a 1,000-ton crane that collapsed and killed four workers in February 2004.

OSHA also fined St. Louis-based Fru-Con $280,000 — the maximum allowed — because the agency said the company violated four workplace safety standards. OSHA said at the time that the company knew of the problems and did nothing to correct them.

Fru-Con was fined another $13,000 following a second inspection.

According to the Associated Press, the crane that collapsed was putting together the roadway on a new Interstate 280 bridge. The crane, which stretched above the bridge's pillars and lifted concrete sections of the roadway into place, was moving forward.

Workers were standing on the pillars and about to set the crane into place when it came crashing down. Nearly all the crane fell between the highway lanes, narrowly missing passing traffic and landing on two construction trucks.

All of those killed were ironworkers working above the ground.

Fru-Con won the contract to build the bridge after submitting the lowest of four bids, AP reports. It was the company's first project working with the state transportation department.

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