(KTSF by Sean Au)
Family members and friends of the Mexican man who died in a construction site accident in Milpitas late January held a memorial service for him today.
39-year-old Raul Zapata was a carpenter by profession and had been living in Hayward for the past 12 years. He is survived by a wife and three daughters between 10 and 20 years of age . His family remains in Zacatecas in central Mexico. Close to a hundred people attended Raul Zapata’s memorial service at St. Bede Catholic Church in Hayward. His brother Faustino broke down at the scene. Friends of the family say plans have been made to send Raul’s body back to Mexico this weekend.
Raul was killed by unstable soil falling on him when he was working in a trench at the building’s foundation in Milpitas. Just three days before the accident, the Milpitas Building & Safety Department issued a stop work order to the contractor of the project as its inspection had found the site to be unsafe. But, authorities say 7 or 8 people were working at the site when the accident happened on January 28.
The contractor of the construction project was U.S.-Sino Investment whose CEO Richard Liu is a Chinese national and is currently in China. Milpitas Police and Cal/OSHA are investigating the accident. The California’s Contractors State License Board has also temporarily suspended the license of the contractor.
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