Construction worker killed during First Night prep in Copley Square

BOSTON (WHDH) - Police and federal officials are investigating a death during preparation for Boston’s First Night festivities in Copley Square Saturday morning.

Officers responding to a report of a construction accident around 9:45 a.m. at 560 Boylston Street found a construction worker in his 20s who was working on setup for the New Year’s Eve event suffering from “trauma,” police said. Officials said the man was hit in the head and later died of a traumatic brain injury.

Jon Sharpe, president of United Staging and Rigging, said the man was killed while constructing a light tower when a 3,500 ballast dislodged from a forklift and landed on him.

“The health and safety of our employees is our number one priority and we are working with the Boston Police and OSHA to determine how this could have happened,” Sharpe said. “We will respond to the findings when the investigations are complete. Tonight, our focus and prayers are with our employee, his family and co-workers. ”

Events company Conventures, which runs First Night, said “We are deeply saddened by the occurrence and are sending our prayers to the family of the worker” in a statement.

“My heart goes out to the family and friends of the victim in Copley Square this afternoon,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a statement. “Boston Police are conducting a full investigation into this tragic incident.”

First Night, which has been a New Year’s Eve mainstay since 1975, features musical performances, ice sculptures, lights displays and fireworks among other activities. Preparation was halted after the death, which is under investigation by police, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and OSHA.

This is a developing news story; stay with 7NEWS for updates online and on-air.

 

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