Photo by Adrian Jones


John Hancock Center, Scaffold Collapse

Chicago, IL


Clifford Law Offices



On 9 March 2002, a 100 ft long, suspended scaffold platform fell from the 42nd floor of the John Hancock Center.  As the scaffold fell, it dropped debris in an arc from the northwest corner to the building’s south face.  The wreckage killed three motorists on East Chestnut Street and severely injured several others.  The building owners were undertaking a major facade restoration project at the time.  On the day of the accident, the contractor had decided it was too windy to work from the platform.  SGH investigated the causes of the failure.