The bodies of two construction workers have been recovered after a hydrant collapse flooded Dartmouth Street in Boston's South End on Friday afternoon.
Boston Police said they received a call at 12:56 p.m. for a hydrant collapse at 10 Dartmouth St., with two people possibly trapped in a 12-foot hole.
Two People Presumed Dead After Water Floods Boston Street
Boston Fire said two people were in the hole, which was filled with water. They were presumed dead, and their bodies were recovered later in the evening. The workers were employed by a private company called Atlantic Drain.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration documents obtained by necn Investigates show that at a previous construction site, Atlantic Drain was fined $30,800 for not protecting an employee from potential cave-ins.
"An employee was exposed to cave in hazards while working in a 9.1 feet [sic] deep trench that had straight cut walls with no cave in protection," OSHA determined.
Boston Emergency Medical Services said on Twitter that they have multiple units on scene at a construction site and that two people have been evaluated.
Photos and videos from the scene show a section of the street covered by water and numerous emergency vehicles blocking off the area.
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"My thoughts and prayers are with these two people's families," Mayor Marty Walsh said. "It's a tough situation. Construction is a difficult job."
He said Dartmouth Street will be shut down for some time. "Not hours - I would say it's gonna be days."
Police Commissioner William Evans clarified, saying Dartmouth Street from Warren to Tremont streets will be shut down for the rest of the day Friday, and won't reopen until Saturday at the earliest.
"It's going to be a recovery, and it's going to be a slow process," he said.
Though foul play is not suspected, Evans said the homicide unit was brought in and will work with OSHA and the fire department to investigate.
"It looks like an accident," he said.
Evans said he isn't sure if a police detail was stationed at the construction site.
"I heard officers screaming on the air very quickly to get fire and everyone down here," he said. "I think they realized very quickly we had workers trapped in the hole."