March 27 (UPI) — A construction worker was killed when a parking garage in downtown Boston partially collapsed as it was being demolished.
The Government Center parking garage, located on Congress Street, suffered a partial collapse when part of the concrete slab on the ninth floor collapsed onto the floor beneath it around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, WBZ reported.
The worker who was killed was on the ninth floor in a bobcat-style construction vehicle, which fell over the side of the structure during the partial collapse, according to MassLive.com.
Boston Fire Commissioner Jack Dempsey said firefighters found the man dead at the bottom of the building beneath a pile of debris.
Officials said another person who was passing by the building as it collapsed and was taken to a local hospital, though reportedly did not suffer any injuries. The construction site has been temporarily closed and workers were evacuated.
The demolition is part of a $1.5 billion project to turn the parking garage into a six-building mixed-use complex called Bullfinch Crossing, including an office skyscraper and two mid-rise residential towers, according to Commercial Property Executive.
John Moriarty & Associates, the construction management firm overseeing the redevelopment project, told WBZ that structural engineers will make sure the site is safe before the demolition continues.
“Our heartfelt thoughts and condolences go out to the loved ones of the worker who lost his life,” company officials said.
“JMA remains committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our employees and trade partners. We would like to thank the Boston Police Department and EMS for their swift response,” they added.
Kevin Hayden, the district attorney for Suffolk County, said in a statement that his office will be involved in investigating the collapse.
“Our office is a stone’s throw away from the garage and our staff has watched through their office windows all the work being done these many months,” Hayden said. “To know that one of the workers on this project has tragically died weighs heavy on our hearts. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.”
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said the city would do “whatever it takes” to find out how the collapse happened.
Construction workers’ families “should never have to worry about whether they’re going home at night and returning,” she said.