Tragic tear down: Flagship Hotel worker dies from injuries suffered indemolition collapse
The demolition worker who was pinned in a collapsed section of the historic Flagship Hotel died from his injuries. A rescue crew needed the Jaws of Life device to extract 65-year-old Tauelangi Angilau of Salt Lake City from the wreckage after Tuesday afternoon's accident and he was rushed to a local hospital, but his injuries turned out to be critical.
The Galveston Daily News first reported the death Wednesday afternoon.
When a section of the historic hotel unexpectedly collapsed during a painstakingly slow, controlled demolition, Angilau became trapped under a 1,000-pound slab. It took 20 minutes to get him out from that slab even with the Jaws of Life.
Flagship's demolition has been star crossed even before this tragic turn, with video surfacing showing chunks of debris from the hotel getting tossed into the Gulf. Landry's — which owns the site, but has contracted out the demolition — plans to turn the site into a Pleasure Pier, complete with amusement rides and carnival games that hark back to another era in Galveston.
The Flagship is one of the more iconic structures in town. If you've been to the island, you've no doubt noticed it stretching out over the water. But it suffered extensive damage in Hurricane Ike.
The demolition of the building is a slow, exacting process that has already taken months. The process has been suspended until an investigation into the collapse and Angilau's death is completed.