City cites Ala Moana Center in wake of fatal railing collapse

City cites Ala Moana Center in wake of fatal railing collapse
(Image:Hawaii News Now)
(Image:Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city has cited Ala Moana Center for rust and spalling found on metal railings, days after a railing collapse at the mall left one man dead and a second critically injured.

The city Department of Planning and Permitting said inspections Monday and Tuesday found evidence of rust where the collapsed railing was embedded in the concrete near the Hookipa Terrace. Other railings in the area also showed signs of rust.

"The evidence indicates a safety issue with the railings and we issued a notice of violation, which requires the owner to apply for a building permit to repair or replace the damaged railings," said Art Challacombe, acting DPP director, in a news release. "Our top priority is the health and safety of the public."

The notice of violation was issued to Ala Moana Center owner General Growth Properties, and the company has 30 days to address the issue or face fines.

Nicholas Freitas, 21, died Sunday night when he fell several stories from the third level of the center's mauka wing. A longtime friend who also fell is in critical condition.

Police said the two were leaning against a railing when it gave way.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, Ala Moana Center General Manager Francis Cofran said the "safety and welfare of our customers and employees is a matter that we take very seriously and always address as a priority."

Cofran also said the mall will comply with all requirements.

"Desman Design Management, a structural engineering firm, has already begun an additional assessment of all railings on property," Cofran said. "Our hearts go out to the families and all those affected by this tragic event."

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