Workers killed in renovation accident on Washington Ave. identified

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ST. LOUIS - Authorities have identified the two men who died Monday in an accident during renovations at a building downtown.

The accident happened just before 11 a.m. at the old International Shoe Building, located in the 1500 block of Washington Avenue.

The workers, 44-year-old Joey Hale and 58-year-old Ben Ricks, were in a lift box cutting cables when, for reasons unknown, the cable holding the lift box snapped and the two men plummeted from the sixth floor.

Hale and Ricks were declared dead at the scene.

OSHA is handling the investigation into the accident and work at the site was postponed until further notice.

The 160,000 square-foot International Shoe Building was constructed in 1909 and designed by Union Station architect Theodore Link.

The renovations were being done to convert the building into a 142-room hotel.

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