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Ironworker hurt after falling some 40 feet at Logan

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Workers looked at a large slab of concrete that could be seen wedged between the Central Garage and an extension being built at Logan.

By Laura Crimaldi Globe Staff 

A 53-year-old ironworker was critically injured Friday morning at Logan International Airport when he fell some 40 feet to the ground after a 32-ton concrete panel he was trying to secure fell from a crane hoisting it to the third floor of a parking garage under construction.

The injured worker, who is from Seymour, Conn., suffered serious injuries and was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition Friday afternoon, State Police said in a statement.

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The preliminary investigation indicates that the man, who is employed by Blakeslee Prestress Inc., was standing on the third floor of the parking garage when the precast concrete panel dropped to the ground, the statement said.

“The worker, who had been trying to secure the panel, also fell the approximately 40 feet to the ground,’’ State Police said.

Work at the site has been halted pending a review by US Occupational Safety & Health Administration, State Police said.

The injured man is a member of Ironworkers Local Union 424 in New Haven, Conn., said Jim Doheny, the business manager.

He said he drove to MGH with the man’s wife and daughter after the accident. Doheny declined to identify him.

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“He’s been in surgery all afternoon,” Doheny said. “We’re just waiting for the surgeons to come back and give us some good news.”

The approximately $80 million parking garage project is being built by Turner Construction Co., state officials said. Blakeslee Prestress, which has offices in Connecticut and Massachusetts, is a subcontractor, according to State Police.

A woman who answered the phone at Blakeslee Prestress’ office in Branford, Conn. said the company had no comment. E-mails and telephone messages left for Blakeslee employees were not returned Friday. The company has built three other parking garages at Logan, according to its website.

Christopher McFadden, a Turner spokesman, said the company is investigating how the accident happened.

“That’s what we’re trying to figure out right now,” he said. In a statement, Turner said it is providing its “full support” to investigations being conducted by State Police, Massachusetts Port Authority, and OSHA.

OSHA has begun inspecting the site to determine whether there were any violations of workplace safety at the site that may have contributed to the accident, said Ted Fitzgerald, an agency spokesman.

State Department of Public Safety inspectors also visited the site and are examining whether any regulations governing the use of hoisting equipment, including cranes, were violated, said spokesman Felix Browne.

The 10-story garage under construction is expected to add 1,700 parking spaces to the Central Parking Garage, according to Massport.

Workers began laying precast concrete slabs like the one that dropped to the ground in April, the state official said. Construction is scheduled to be completed later this year.

Following the incident, workers could be seen looking at a concrete slab on the ground, wedged between the existing garage and the portion under development. Two orange lifts were positioned on the third floor of the construction site, and a blue and white crane stood nearby, its arm pointed toward the upper levels of the garage.

One man could be seen photographing a small section of concrete reinforced with rebar that appeared to have sustained minor damage. Some pieces of rebar on one of the supports were bent out of shape while the top of a piece of rebar was missing on another support.

Chunks of concrete were also missing from two different precast concrete panels that were already in place.

The garage being built is next to the pedestrian walkway connecting terminals A and E. Seven panes of glass in the walkway were damaged and replaced with plywood Friday.

The accident comes after the deaths of two workers at other construction sites in recent weeks.

Charles Pace, 65, of Whitman, died June 30 when a mound of sand collapsed on the bulldozer he was driving in Plymouth. Ronald Morse II, 40, died June 11 after a temporary elevator attached to the outside of a Somerville construction site fell to the ground.


Globe correspondent Aram Boghosian contributed Laura Crimaldi can be reached at laura.crimaldi@globe.com
Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.