BOSTON (WHDH) - Officials are investigating a partial building collapse at the Government Center parking garage that left one person dead and stopped trains and traffic in the area as engineers worked to determine the site and the MBTA tracks underneath were safe Saturday.
Fire officials said it appeared a crane fell off the side of the parking garage over the Haymarket MBTA stop, which has been undergoing demolition, and fell eight or nine stories shortly before 6 p.m. Fire Commissioner Jack Dempsey said the floor underneath the crane may have collapsed.
Police said the crane operator died in the collapse. Their name has not been released. EMS officials said a passer-by was not physically injured but asked to be taken to the hospital.
Mayor Michelle Wu said she was “devastated” by the collapse and said local and federal officials would ensure the area was safe.
“The city will work to do whatever it takes so that we understand what happened here,” Wu said. “People are working very diligently to make sure the site is safe and stable.”
Overnight, crews shone a light on the rubble and worked to recover the victim.
“Right now, we’re in recovery mode,” Fire Commissioner Jack Dempsey said. “Waiting on engineers to come in and make sure the scene is safe before we move the victim.”
Sunday morning, the Engineer Union reacted to the loss saying: “We are devastated by the loss and our thoughts and prayers are with the family…”
Haymarket Station had been shut down earlier for a planned demolition, officials said, and engineers investigated the site to determine if the tunnels had been damaged. Officials said they believed the garage was stable but engineers were investigating, and OSHA officials are also investigating the site.
Police temporarily shut down streets around Haymarket, including the Sumner Tunnel, as engineers investigated. By early Sunday morning, the tunnel was reopened to traffic flowing from Washington Street.
Boston Police Captain Kelley McCormick said the shutdowns would affect northbound and southbound traffic on I-93 and said there would be “serious traffic disruption” throughout the area, urging drivers and pedestrians to stay away.
“Our ultimate concern right now is for the young man who is no longer with us and his family and making sure this area is safe and secure particularly the MBTA beneath us,” said DA Kevin Hayden. “Let’s put it this way, we don’t have any reason to believe there’s any criminality involved here.”
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