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Window washer killed during fall inside JFK Library in Dorchester

Visitors walked through the pavilion of the JFK Library and Museum last year.Christiana Botic for The Boston Globe

A window washer working inside the John F. Kennedy Library in Dorchester fell between five and seven stories to his death Wednesday, authorities said.

“There is still a lot we have to determine ... [but] at the end of the day it does appear to be a tragic accident,” Suffolk District Attorney Kevin R. Hayden told reporters outside the library, a nine-story building connected to a glass-and-steel “contemplation pavilion” that is 115 feet tall.

The man fell shortly after 10:30 a.m. and was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Boston police, and Hayden’s office are investigating the circumstances of the accident.


Authorities did not identify the man on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the Department of Labor said OSHA is “inspecting” Gaeta Window Cleaning. A message left with the Attleboro-based company was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Alan Price, director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, said in a statement that the organization is “profoundly saddened” by the man’s death.

“We offer our deepest condolences to his loved ones and colleagues,” Price said. “Workplace safety has always been a priority in our facility. The Boston Police Department and OSHA are conducting a full investigation into this tragic incident.”

Price said the man had worked safely in the building for many years as an employee from the window cleaning company that was on site to pressure wash the property.

“Due to inclement weather, they moved inside to clean the interior of the Pavilion glass,” Price said. “This company has been cleaning the Library’s windows for years and conducts Pavilion window cleaning twice a year.”

He said the man’s death was “a shocking and tragic event and I extend my deepest sorrow to his family and the JFK Library family.”

The library and museum will remain closed to the general public on Thursday. It will reopen on Friday, the statement said.


Travis Andersen of the Globe staff and correspondent Nick Stoico contributed.

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