Worker killed after falling nine stories at Boston construction site

0

In brief comments from the scene on Saturday evening, Mayor Michelle Wu called the death a “horrible tragedy” and said an investigation into the accident was already underway.

“(The investigation) remains very active, and the city will do whatever it takes for us to understand what happened here,” said Wu, who welcomed the response from rescue workers.

“This is a very complex site, and the workers who bear the risk…their families should never have to worry about whether they are [coming] home in the evening.

The death occurred around 5:30 p.m. Saturday night, according to a statement from John Moriarty & Associates, the general contractor responsible for building the downtown project known as Bullfinch Crossing.

According to the company, the subcontractors who were then carrying out the demolition work were evacuated and the site was temporarily stopped.

“Structural engineers will ensure the site is safe and secure before work resumes,” the statement said.

“Our deepest thoughts and condolences go out to the loved ones of the worker who lost his life.”

Videos posted to social media shortly after the crash showed an extensive emergency response at the scene, including what appeared to be at least five fire engines and numerous other police and emergency vehicles.

The aftermath of the partial collapse of the Government Center garage on Saturday night.Tim Capalli

The streets surrounding the Government Center Garage were closed to traffic at 7 p.m. Saturday as Boston police redirected drivers away from the area. Nearby Surface Road was filled with emergency vehicles, including several ambulances and fire engines.

Dozens of spectators stopped to watch the garage, where a large yellow crane stood above the partially demolished building.

Jonathan Bailey-François was on his way to a comedy show downtown when a stream of fire engines passed him.

“I heard the sirens and it was like the Boston Marathon bombing,” he said. “It was just fire truck after fire truck and when you see a ladder truck in the city, it’s never a good thing.”

The construction site is part of a development project known as Bullfinch Crossing, which will add several new high and mid-rise buildings to downtown Boston, according to a project website. Spread over 4.8 acres, it was at one point to include 800 residential units and over 1 million square feet of office space.

Earlier this year, however, the Boston Planning & Development Agency approved a redesign application from investment group HYM – the developer of the project – to construct a 12-story life sciences building, rather than three office buildings. and residential.

Reached on Saturday evening, a spokeswoman for HYM Investment Group posed questions to Boston officials.

Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden said on Saturday that his office – along with other local, state and federal authorities – would be involved in the investigation.

“Our office is a stone’s throw from the garage, and our staff have looked through their office windows at all the work done these many months,” Hayden said in a statement. “Knowing that one of the workers on this project has tragically passed away weighs heavily on our hearts. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends. »

Saturday’s death, meanwhile, is the latest in a string of construction-related accidents that have accompanied a major building boom in the region in recent years.

In 2016, a construction worker was killed following an accident involving a crane in the Longwood medical area, just two weeks after another worker was seriously injured in a three-storey fall from a another construction site. Two years ago, two workers at a construction site in Inman Square in Cambridge were rushed to hospital when the small crane they were using overturned.

And last October, a man fell six stories down a stairwell to his death at an east Boston construction site – one of many killed at construction sites in eastern Massachusetts l ‘last year.

Danah Ringel, 29, said she drove to the scene of Saturday’s crash from her North End flat when she heard sirens and saw flashing red lights from fire engines and ambulances parked in front of the garage.

She said she was sad to hear that the accident had resulted in the death of a man and that she was concerned about the safety of the many other construction projects going on in the city.

“Boston is a city that is constantly under construction and I hope that by now, you know, OSHA has done their due diligence to make sure that our sites are safe, not only for workers but also for pedestrians in the area,” she said. as she stood at the corner of Washington and New Chardon streets, watching rescuers enter and leave the construction site.

“Look around all the new skyscrapers going up,” she added, pointing to the One Congress tower behind the garage. “They have to make sure they’re safe…because when they don’t, tragedies happen like what we saw tonight.”

.

Drivers and pedestrians in the area can expect significant traffic closures, Boston police said. There is no deadline for its reopening to traffic.

Globe staff’s Breanne Kovatch contributed to this story.


Nick Stoico can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @NickStoico. Dugan Arnett can be contacted at [email protected]

Share.

Comments are closed.