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Worker death latest in string of accidents at construction sites in Greater Boston

One worker was killed and another was injured after a partial collapse of the Government Center parking garage.Erin Clark/Globe Staff

The death of a construction worker who plummeted nine stories when a portion of the Government Center parking garage collapsed on Saturday evening was the latest in a string of similar incidents across the state, amid a building boom in the area, a review of Globe stories found.

Boston Fire Commissioner Jack Dempsey said witnesses reported the worker was using a piece of heavy machinery when the floor “buckled” and the machine fell with the worker still inside. The man was doing demolition work inside the garage when the floor gave way as the machine approached the edge of the building.

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The man’s death comes just five months after a Medford man with ties to Brazil working for a Woburn ironworks company was killed when he fell six stories down a stairwell shaft at an East Boston construction site.

And, in July, three workers were seriously injured while doing construction at a Norwood apartment complex when they fell about 25 feet off of a ladder. Two of the workers reportedly sustained “critical injuries” while the third was expected to survive, the Globe reported.

Earlier that month, a worker suffered serious injuries after falling more than 20 feet off a roof at an Ipswich construction site.

In May, a worker was killed in Newton when a concrete wall fell on him while he was working on the foundation of a home under renovation in the Newton Highlands. The man, 55, was working for a North Reading-based construction company that was enlisted to do major renovation work on the home.

Last March, one man was killed and another was injured when a section of a stairwell at a city-owned parking garage in East Cambridge collapsed. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration later cited two companies for safety violations at the site, after they failed to ensure that walls and floors didn’t collapse during demolition work and let employees access areas that had been structurally compromised, the Globe reported.

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One week earlier, two men were killed while working on a sewer line in the Financial District after a dump truck knocked them into a 9-foot trench. Jordan Romero, 27, and Juan Carlos Figueroa Gutierrez, 33, were working for Atlantic Coast Utilities, a company whose owner was later found to have committed a barrage of safety violations, the Globe reported. The company’s owner, Laurence M. Moloney, was later indicted on perjury charges alleging the business provided city regulators with falsified records about its safety history four different times beginning in October 2019. Moloney is still awaiting trial.

On December 28, 2019, two men were killed within hours of each other at separate construction accidents across the state. First, a 25-year-old man died after falling off a barn in Shirley while working for a commercial roofing company, and just hours later, a 34-year-old man was killed when a 3,500-pound ballast fell from a forklift and landed on his chest while he was helping set up for the city’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration.

A month prior, a bridge construction mishap in Haverhill left one man dead and another injured after they fell from an aerial platform onto a barge in the Merrimack River. The men fell 40 to 50 feet from a telescopic boom shortly before 10 a.m. while working on the bridge on Interstate 495.

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And, in February 2019, one man was killed, and two others were injured when building materials on the third floor of an MIT residence hall project fell and struck the workers a floor below.

Earlier that month, a 30-year-old North Attleborough man was killed at a Salem construction site after he was pinned beneath a piece of excavating equipment.

Material from previous Globe stories was used in this report.





Charlie McKenna can be reached at charlie.mckenna@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @charliemckenna9.