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AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. — A worker is dead following a structural collapse at the construction site of a Spokane Tribe casino. 

The Spokane Tradeswoman announced on Wednesday that the deceased’s name is Ana Vetter, a local journeyman carpenter. 

“Spokane Tradeswomen is mourning the loss of our dear sister, Ana Vetter. LU 59 Journeyman Carpenter Ana was fatally injured on a job site in Airway Heights yesterday,” the Spokane Tradeswoman wrote on its Facebook page. “She loved her work and was proud to be a woman in construction.”

Local media reported that the fatal accident happened around 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the site, where a hotel is being built next to the Spokane Tribe Casino. An investigation is underway by the Spokane Tribal Police Department and various local, state, and other Tribal agencies. 

“The family and work crew onsite are at the forefront of our thoughts and prayers,” Spokane Tribe Casino General Manager Javier De La Rosa said at a press conference on Tuesday. “We will continue to release information to the public as we learn more from the different agencies involved.” 

Swinerton Construction is building the expansion and reported that the construction site experienced a formwork collapse. Formwork is the mold used to form concrete into structural shapes. No other workers were involved or injured in the incident, the company wrote on its website

The casino is operated by the Spokane Tribe of Indians and is located about 10 miles west of Spokane, Wash. The hotel is expected to open later in 2023 and the casino recently doubled the size of its gaming floor. The tribe plans to add a convention center, an entertainment center, a cultural center, and more restaurants and retail stores in the coming years. 

The Tribe and the construction company have announced they are working with other agencies who are conducting the investigation to find out the cause of the accident.

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About The Author
Author: Darren ThompsonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Darren Thompson (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe) is a staff reporter for Native News Online who is based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Thompson has reported on political unrest, tribal sovereignty, and Indigenous issues for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Indian Country Today, Native News Online, Powwows.com and Unicorn Riot. He has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Voice of America on various Indigenous issues in international conversation. He has a bachelor’s degree in Criminology & Law Studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.