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High Winds Trap Construction Workers in Downtown Building



DOWNTOWN — Seven construction workers got trapped in an unfinished Downtown high-rise Friday after high winds made it too dangerous for them to come down, officials said.

The workers were stuck in the upper floors of the building at 150 N. Riverside Plaza. Construction materials and other debris were blown from the building, hitting the street and nearby buildings. Around 6:30 p.m., the Fire Department reported they were all safely back down on the ground.

Elsewhere, gusts swirling of up to 69 miles per hour are wreaking havoc across town and shattering the windows of Wacker Drive office towers.

An entire tree was uprooted at Lincoln Avenue and Montana Street in Lincoln Park, crushing a silver car with the driver still in it. The man was not injured, witness Dave Keats said. The Chicago Fire Department also reported a car crushed at 1800 W. Walnut St. after a building collapse.

Gary Schenkel, executive director of the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications, said one Streets and Sanitation worker was hospitalized after getting hit by a tree limb on the Southwest Side. The worker was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in Douglas Park with non-life-threatening injuries.

The debris flew out of two high-rise towers under construction at 150 N. Riverside Plaza and 444 W. Lake St. Three office towers at 150, 180 and 191 N. Wacker drives were evacuated after debris began smashing windows.

Wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour caused walls to topple and windows to break throughout the city Friday.
Windy City Gets Really Windy

Deputy Fire Chief Michael Fox said the debris was “not loose construction material,” nor was there any evidence of code violations at the project sites.

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