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11 injured when scaffolding collapses at San Diego border crossing; US-bound traffic blocked
SAN DIEGO (AP) ' Scaffolding collapsed on more than a dozen cars at the United States' busiest border crossing Wednesday, injuring 11 people and halting all U.S.-bound traffic, authorities said.
A construction worker at the San Ysidro crossing between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, was in serious condition, said Maurice Luque, spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. The others were taken to hospitals with minor injuries.
The wooden scaffolding erected over several lanes near vehicle inspection booths collapsed shortly before 11 a.m. onto 15 cars, authorities said. Luque said three people had to be extricated from the cars, while the others walked away.
All 24 U.S.-bound vehicle lanes and additional lanes for U.S.-bound pedestrians were closed, and travelers were directed to another border crossing about five miles (eight kilometers) east, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said. Mexico-bound lanes remained open.
About 50,000 vehicles and 25,000 pedestrians enter the United States each day at the San Ysidro crossing. Heightened border security after 9/11 has resulted in waits that can last hours during morning rush hour and other peak travel times.
The 30-year-old border crossing facility is undergoing a $577 million overhaul by Hensel Phelps Construction Co., based in Greeley, Colorado. Jeff Wenaas, the construction firm's chief executive, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
CBP initially said 17 travelers and construction workers were injured. Luque said the fire department examined 24 people at the scene, including 13 who were not injured.
CBP said it was unclear when the border crossing would reopen.