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Contractor faces fines in fatal building collapse

When the Biscayne Kennel Club collapsed on a work crew during demolition last spring, the owner of the contracting company lost two brothers.

Tuesday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration blamed the accident on Thomas Schwab's Cuyahoga Wrecking Co., proposing $90,600 fines for the May 16 accident at the old greyhound racing park in Miami Shores.

The clubhouse and grandstands collapsed during demolition work, killing Charles and William Schwab and injuring three others. The workers were cutting away the grandstands' main I-beam supports when the aluminum and steel structure gave way just before 9 a.m.

The blue-and-white Art Deco structure, built in 1926 and located just north of Miami, was a south Florida landmark.

OSHA cited Cuyahoga Wrecking for failing to provide training during demolition work and not doing an engineering survey before beginning work, according to Powell McDonald, OSHA's assistant area director.

The agency also issued citations because the structure was not dismantled column by column. The company was also fined because workers were not wearing hard hats.

The company has 15 days to challenge the OSHA citations and the fines.

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