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Man who died in East Boston construction accident identified

Police tape blocked off the area after a construction worker fell to his death at a construction site near Maverick Square in East Boston on Wednesday.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

A Medford man with ties to Brazil was identified Friday as the worker killed when he fell six stories down a stairwell shaft in an apartment building under construction in East Boston this week.

Fernando Augusto Rafael Da Silva was working for Evolution Iron Works at the Grace Apartment site on Sumner Street when he fell. He was pronounced dead around 11 a.m. Wednesday, officials said.

A man who answered the Woburn-based company’s telephone Friday said workers were grieving and declined to talk about Da Silva. “Respect the moment,” he said.

According to a Brazilian news website, Da Silva was married and the father of two young children. He had been in the US for three years, the website said.


A GoFundMe organized Thursday in Da Silva’s name asks for help transporting his body to Brazil. The page had raised over $14,000 by 4 p.m. Friday.

Da Silva’s death is under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and by Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins office.

Evolution was a subcontractor for New England Construction, a Rhode Island-based company with a satellite office in Boston. In a statement sent to the Globe Thursday, Matt Sluter, president and chief executive officer, said his company is cooperating with investigators.

“A loss of life affects us all. We have been in business for nearly four decades and this was the first time we have experienced such a loss,” Sluter said in the statement, adding that employee assistance programs are in place. “We will re-review our safety protocols and policies, and continue to make health and safety a priority.”

Citing the investigation, Sluter, through a spokesman, declined comment on the circumstances surrounding Da Silva’s death.

Grace Apartments is a seven-story addition to Heritage Apartments, an existing housing project at 209 Sumner St. which is made up of 17 units for elderly and disabled people and is being developed by the East Boston Community Development Corporation, according to city records.


John R. Ellement can be reached at Follow him @JREbosglobe.