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11 injured in scaffolding collapse at border crossing

September 14, 2011 |  6:58 pm

    Construction scaffolding collapsed Wednesday at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, partially covering cars with debris and sending 11 people to the hospital with injuries, U.S. officials said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents shut down all northbound traffic from Mexico while work crews cleared the area. Debris from the collapse trapped 15 vehicles under the canopy, Fox 5 in San Diego reported.

Eight of the victims were able to free themselves from their autos, and emergency crews extricated the rest, the TV station reported.

Of those taken the hospital, only one was considered seriously injured. Four of the injured were construction workers, including the person most seriously injured.

The 50-by-50-foot section of scaffolding that collapsed was part of a major expansion project at the world's busiest border crossing.

Border officers closed all northbound lanes into the U.S. and directed cars waiting in line back to Tijuana. Border agents also stopped processing northbound pedestrian traffic.

Southbound traffic at the border was closed briefly, but all lanes were reopened except the far left lane, which was reserved for emergency vehicles, Caltrans officials said.

Officials didn’t know when the crossing would reopen and urged travelers to use instead the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. Southbound lanes into Tijuana remained open.

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-- Richard Marosi and Tony Perry in San Diego

Video: Raw helicopter video of the collapse.

Credit: Fox 5 / San Diego

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