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MBTA reopens Orange Line following partial parking garage collapse

A worker stood at the collapse site at the former Government Center Garage on Tuesday.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

The MBTA restored service on the Orange Line Tuesday afternoon, several days after a portion of the subway system closed over concerns about the safety of tunnels under a construction site where a partial building collapse killed a construction worker on Saturday.

The MBTA determined it was safe to resume Orange Line service between North and Back Bay stations after conducting an inspection and running test trains in the tunnels, officials said. Green Line service remains suspended between North Station and Government Center, the MBTA said.

Trains will continue to bypass Haymarket Station, the closest station to the former Government Center Garage, where an estimated 100 tons of concrete and steel fell to the ground above Green and Orange line tunnels during the collapse.

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The incident killed Peter F. Monsini, 51, an employee of JDC Demolition Company Inc., who was operating a piece of heavy machinery when the garage floor buckled beneath him and he fell nine stories to the ground. It was Monsini’s second day on the job.

Most of the debris fell on the surface directly above the Green Line, the MBTA said, and structural engineers are continuing to examine tunnels serving that part of the system. The MBTA deployed a drone to assist with the inspections and published some of the footage on Twitter.

The reopening of the Orange Line coincides with changes to shuttle bus service along the affected portion of the Green Line. Shuttle bus service between North Station and Government Center on the Green Line is scheduled to conclude at the end of service on Tuesday, the MBTA said.

Beginning Wednesday, the MBTA is encouraging customers to use the Orange Line instead. Green Line passengers can transfer to Orange Line trains underground at North Station and Park Street Station, the MBTA said.

Bus routes 111, 426, and 450 returned to Haymarket Station with the reopening of the Orange Line. Bus routes 92 and 93 had already returned to service there, the MBTA said.

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The fatal collapse is under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, along with the Suffolk district attorney’s office and Boston police.

Monsini lived in Easton and belonged to the Local 4 of the International Union of Operating Engineers. His survivors include a 17-year-old son.

“He was a loving son, brother, father, uncle and friend,” the Monsini family said in a statement, which thanked emergency responders for their efforts in the immediate aftermath of the collapse. “He was full of life, passionate, thoughtful, and will be missed deeply by his family and partner Alicia.”

Mayor Robert Sullivan of Brockton mourned the loss of Monsini, his high school classmate. “Peter Monsini was a classmate and a friend,” Sullivan wrote on Twitter. “He was a lifelong Brocktonian who worked in the construction and demolition industry his entire life. Many of those years were for his family’s Brockton business. Our city mourns his loss and my condolences go out to his family, fellow union members, and friends.”

As investigators work to determine the cause of the collapse, records show that Boston firefighters were summoned to the construction site on Jan. 14 at about 2:50 a.m. for a report of an “unstable work site involving a crane,” according to emergency radio transmissions recorded by Broadcastify.com.

A technical rescue team was sent to the worksite and a portion of New Chardon Street was closed. But the summons was canceled after emergency responders concluded no one needed to be rescued, according to the transmissions.

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The crane had to be relocated to a safe spot, emergency officials said during the transmissions. The incident was first reported by television station NBC10 Boston.

On Tuesday, a Boston Fire Department spokesman said further information about the January incident had to be requested under the state’s public records law. The city has 10 business days to respond to the Globe’s request.

Jessica Tocco, a spokeswoman for JDC Demolition, said the incident began when a frozen water main erupted at the construction site. A Boston police officer saw water flooding the construction site and reported it. The Boston Water and Sewer Commission was notified.

Crews from JDC Demolition were not on site at the time, Tocco said, but the business did have equipment there.

A pile of concrete under a tarp.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

The construction work is part of a massive project known as Bulfinch Crossing, a mixed-use development proposed in 2008 and approved by the city five years later.

Work has been halted at the site during safety inspections and the investigation into Monsini’s death is underway.

Travis Andersen of the Globe staff and Globe correspondent Matt Yan contributed to this report.

Inspection crew at the site of a building collapse in Boston.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff



Laura Crimaldi can be reached at laura.crimaldi@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi. John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.