Worker killed, two others injured in Vassar dorm construction accident

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A construction accident at the New Vassar dormitory construction site killed one worker and injured two others Feb. 28.
Alex Sandberg–The Tech

A construction worker was killed and two others were injured in an accident at MIT’s Vassar Street dormitory construction site Feb. 28.

“The preliminary investigation suggests that a crew was working on a lower floor when material collapsed down on top of workers from an above floor,” a statement from the Middlesex County district attorney’s office Feb. 28 said.

Three workers were transported to a local hospital after the incident, which occurred around 3 p.m. Feb. 28, according to the statement. One worker, a 41-year-old man from Taunton, later died. The others sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

MIT Police, Massachusetts State Police assigned to the district attorney’s office, and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration are actively conducting an investigation, the statement said.  

As of March 5, the OSHA has not released further details about the investigation, Richard Amster, director of campus construction at MIT, wrote in a statement emailed to The Tech.

The dorm is being built by Walsh Brothers, a Boston construction firm. After the OSHA determined that the site could be reopened, the Walsh Brothers did so, the statement continued.

“I am deeply saddened to learn about the accident and the passing of a person who was working on the construction site on our campus,” Israel Ruiz SM ’01, executive vice president and treasurer of MIT, wrote in a statement emailed to The Tech Feb. 28.

“The thoughts of the MIT community are with the family and other loved ones close to him at this difficult time. We are also very concerned about the others injured and are hoping for their full recovery,” Ruiz continued.

Update 3/7/19: The article was updated to incorporate a statement from Richard Amster, director of campus construction at MIT.