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Building Collapse Injures Construction Workers

Although the accident occurred in Boston, it could have easily happened in any American city, including New York. Three workers suffered non-life-threatening injuries when a roof collapsed inside a 33-story residential building under construction. The building, at 45 Stuart Street in Boston’s Downtown Crossing district, was scheduled for completion by mid-2015. It will have nearly 400 residential units and close to 200 parking spaces.

The construction accident occurred around 8 AM, when the roof fell from the 12th floor to the fifth. This kind of accident is called a pancake, with one floor flattening the one below. Two of the victims, one with a severe head injury and the other with a minor injury, were taken to Tufts Medical Center. The other worker walked into the hospital with an injured wrist.

At least 120 workers, including carpenters, laborers and iron workers, were in the building when it collapsed. It is not known where the injured workers were working.

Something heavy, a dead load, dropped on the 12th floor, causing it to pancake down to the fifth floor. It is not yet known what fell, but there is speculation that it may have been dropped by a crane on the site.

The mayor, a former union worker, expressed concern. He said, “Construction is a dangerous, dangerous, job.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating. Both the Boston Fire Department and the Boston Police Department responded to the accident. The relevant city and state agencies are also looking into the collapse.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh said, “There are a lot of construction workers, men and women, in the trade very shaken up over this.”

Source: Boston Globe, “Two hurt in building collapse at Boston construction site, Mar. 20, 2014.