Three workers were injured, one of whom was trapped for hours and suffered life-threatening injuries, after a catwalk collapsed inside the old Boston Edison power plant in South Boston Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
Police, fire, and ambulance crews raced to the 19th century building, the site of a major construction project, shortly before 2 p.m. for what Mayor Michelle Wu called a “very dangerous rescue operation.”
Boston Emergency Medical Services took two of the workers to Boston-area hospitals shortly after the collapse. A third worker was extricated after being trapped in the rubble for three and a half hours and taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to Sergeant Detective John Boyle, a police spokesman.
Wu lauded the response of emergency workers who responded to the iconic red-brick industrial building.
“I’m very grateful to our first-responders today,” Wu said at the scene.
The most severely injured worker was on the first floor when the collapse occurred. A 30-foot section of concrete that fell from the second floor pinned his legs to the ground, Brian Alkins, a spokesman for the Boston Fire Department said. Working in a tight space with the risk of further collapse looming, firefighters carefully cut a hole through the concrete to free the man.
“There’s a large piece of flooring that collapsed,” Boston Fire Commissioner Jack Dempsey said. “It was cantilevered, which means it was sticking out over. It collapsed [and] formed a void, which knocked the man back, and part of that … landed on his legs, his lower legs, and it trapped him.”
“As I said with the other accident we had, demolition jobs are very dangerous,” he later added. “Probably more dangerous than putting buildings up. … Look how old this building is. We’ve had a lot of serious problems with this building over the years.”
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