The Death of Jesus Flores

At ten o'clock in the morning of January 7, 1987, Jesus Flores, a laborer,died after being crushed beneath several tons of shale rock in a construction excavation underway for an apartment building on Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles. The contractor who directed Flores to clean the foundations below an unsupported fourteen foot high excavation wall was operating without a permit and had been previously been cited fourteen times for safety violations. The engineer who had approved of the excavation over the objection of the city building inspector was subsequently charged of criminal negligence by the Los Angeles District Attorney.

Though the immediate cause of the death was found in the conduct of the parties involved in the project in the days and months before the accident, the underlying cause of the accident is a set of catastrophic environmental conditions that have their origins in the ancient past. (For a recent analysis of this case by a group of civil engineer graduatestudents click HERE.)

Thirty-five million years ago

Ten million years ago

Five million years ago
One million years ago

Five thousand years ago



July 1986

January 6, 1987

January 7, 1987 9 a.m.

January 7, 1987 10 a.m.

Well, this is one version of the story. For others, click HERE.)