State workplace regulators have launched an investigation into the partial collapse of a building under construction on Facebook's Menlo Park campus that sent two ironworkers to the hospital and placed scrutiny on two construction companies that have done work on some of the Bay Area's most high-profile projects.
Four beams on the new building dislodged from the steel supports at 5:25 p.m. Wednesday, according to Level 10 Construction, the project's main contractor. The two men were on a team that was putting up the steel frame of Facebook's new Building 21 that was designed by Frank Gehry. Work was halted after the accident.
"There was a catastrophic failure of some kind," said Menlo Park Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman.
The workers were on one of the beams that dropped, got caught on a lower floor assembly and catapulted them toward the ground, according to Schapelhouman.
"These guys are slinging big steel. When you're using cranes and dealing with thousands of pounds of steel beams it's not easy work, and something obviously went wrong," Schapelhouman said in an interview.