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Legal action taken in deadly stairway collapse

Friday, July 18, 2008
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We've learned one of the families of a child killed when a stairway crashed down on him and two other children is taking legal action.

According to an autopsy released today, David Vazquez and Miguel Robledo died as a result of blunt force trauma to the neck, chest and abdomen. They were crushed under the weight of the stairwell that collapsed on top of them Wednesday as they were playing hide and seek.

We've just learned the Vazquez family has retained an attorney and is filing suit against the apartment's management company, RVP Apartments, Inc.

Inspectors with the Neighborhood Protection Corps and Houston's Public Works and Engineering Department were on the scene Thursday of the collapse. Neighbors said they had complained to apartment managers about cracks in the staircases. But recent complaints filed against the apartment complex indicated no structural problems, officials said.

Public works had inspected the complex for some electrical, plumbing, sanitary and sewer problems, but "nothing that raises any red flags," said department spokesman Alvin Wright.

Investigators are expected back to the complex later today to complete their analysis of what led to the stairway collapsing. Those findings could be released later this afternoon. Meanwhile, the all-clear was given for those living in the building to return to their units.

One child did survive the accident. We're told he's in good condition in the hospital. As far as services for the two boys who died, we're told those are still pending.

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