The collapse of a catwalk in a defunct, 124-year-old power plant building in Boston on May 4 injured three workers in the latest in a spate of serious construction accidents in the city and its environs.
Two workers were immediately rushed to the hospital, while Boston EMS crews had to work to “extricate” a third from catwalk collapse at the old power plant, located at 776 Summer St. in the city’s South Boston neighborhood, the agency posted on its Twitter feed at 3:31 p.m. That worker was also sent to the hospital as well.
Demolition work on the old power station, which dates to 1898, began in December, with Hilco Redevelopment Partners having rolled out plans to redevelop the 15-acre site, part of which touches the city’s waterfront, into a 17.7 mixed use complex.
Federal safety regulators from OSHA are helping oversee the investigation of the accident, which drew a response from Boston fire and police as well. The accident occurred during abatement work by a subcontractor, spokesperson for Suffolk Construction, the main contractor on the power plant redevelopment project, said in an email.
“Our thoughts are with the individuals who were injured, along with their families,” the Suffolk spokesperson said. “We are currently on site working closely with OSHA, our subcontractor and the local authorities to determine the cause of this incident and confirm the safety of the site.”
The accident comes just a little over a month after a partial collapse of the Government Center parking garage in downtown Boston sent 51-year-old operating engineer Peter Monsini of South Easton plunging nine stories to his death. Monsini was working on dismantling a section of the sprawling, 1960s era Brutalist-style garage, which developer HYM Investment Group has been taking apart piecemeal over the last few years to make way for new towers.
The Government Center garage collapse remains under investigation by federal OSHA inspectors and local officials.
In addition, over the the past 14 months, another five construction workers have been killed in Boston and surrounding communities in accidents on a range of construction sites in Boston, Cambridge, and Newton.
The fatalities include an employee of an ironworks company who tumbled six stories down a stairwell shaft at a construction site in East Boston, a worker killed by a collapsing stairwell in an East Cambridge parking garage, and two Atlantic Coast Utilities employees who died after being knocked into a nine-foot-deep trench at a worksite in Boston’s Financial District.
"The safety of the workers on site and in the surrounding areas is our top priority,” the spokesperson for Hilco Redevelopment Partners (HRP), owner of the South Boston power plant site where the May 4 accident occurred, said in an email. "We are thankful for the swift response from Boston emergency services.”