Worker Seriously Injured at Lynn Construction Site

A construction worker suffered serious injuries when he became trapped as the result of a wall collapse at a Lynn, Massachusetts construction site on Friday morning.

Lynn police received a call about the incident around 8:15 a.m. and responded to the area of 43 Munroe St. There, they learned that about 20 workers had become trapped after a large section of reinforcing iron, or rebar, fell on them.

Most of the workers were able to escape on their own.

"On arrival, we found that many of the workers had self-extricated from the collapse, but there were four or five that were still kind of pinned inside," said Lynn Deputy Fire Chief Arthur Richard.

Jasmine Powell, who works near the construction site, said she heard the commotion.

"I hear people yelling, and then from yelling it went to screaming," Powell recalled. "I see them on the phone trying to get the police, the ambulance. They were frantically trying to move stuff out of the way."

One 38-year-old worker, who has not been named, was trapped under the iron and firefighters had to use a heavy mechanical saw to free him.

"They were climbed up on the fence, screaming, 'get him out! get him out! call 911,'" said Arianna Ireland, who also works near the construction site.

Police said the worker was alert and conscious when he was rescued but very seriously injured.

He was airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital. His condition was not immediately known.

"Everybody was lucky," Richard said. "You know, a rescue like this puts a lot of people in jeopardy."

Mayor Thomas McGee said the workers were building a 10-story apartment complex but those plans are now on hold pending an investigation.

"Our thoughts are with the person that was injured," McGee said. "My understanding is that there were no other injuries."

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said its Andover office was notified of the incident and they are responding to the scene.

Procopio Enterprises, Inc., a Saugus-based real estate development company, said it had no comment on the accident.

Several Procopio construction vehicles are at the site.

Christopher Galatis of the New England Council of Carpenters said incidents like this are among the unfortunate risks of the job.

"We're all brothers and sisters. We all work together," he said. "We try to cover each others' back and make sure everybody's going to go home safe at the end of the day."

Officials said OSHA will determine the cause of the accident and determine when the construction site is safe for further work.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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