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Worker Fatally Crushed by Steel Beam

Thursday, December 12, 2013

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Authorities are investigating the death of a worker at a Massachusetts bridge steel fabricating and coating plant who was killed this week by a 12,000-pound steel beam.

The victim, an employee of Boston Bridge & Steel Inc., was Marco Antonio Huezo Mancea, 46, of El Salvador, family members told The Boston Globe. Mancea had reportedly lived in the United States for 12 years and leaves behind a wife, son and two daughters in El Salvador.

The accident occurred Monday (Dec. 9). Authorities were called about 6:15 p.m. ET to a Massachusetts Port Authority building near Logan Airport at the Boston Harbor Shipyard.

Boston Bridge & Steel fatality
Photos: Boston Bridge & Steel

A worker at a Massachusetts steel fabricator was killed Monday when a 12,000-pound steel beam crushed him. Authorities are uncertain what caused the beam to fall.

"A large piece in an arch shape shifted on the worker, trapping him underneath," said Steve MacDonald, a spokesman for the Boston Fire Department. Mancea was pronounced dead at the scene.

5 Hours to Remove Steel

Boston Bridge & Steel fabricates metals for the power plant, heavy industrial, heavy highway, railroad, commercial building and offshore marine industries. The company operates two 25,000-square-foot fabrication shops with overhead cranes, as well as a customizable paint and blast facility.

MacDonald said the piece of steel weighed 12,000 pounds, and he didn't know what it was used for. The fire department worked for about five hours late Monday to recover the body.

"It's very time-consuming to safely move [the steel] with as much dignity as we can for the victim," MacDonald said.

"We're trying to do it as safely as possible," MacDonald told the Boston Herald. "We're working with the company. We have to have some large pieces of steel moved, and we're doing it in a slow, safe fashion."

'Emotionally Overwhelming'

"Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family and friends of the deceased," Susan Burm, president of the company, told The Boston Globe in a statement. "This type of accident is devastating, emotionally overwhelming, and represents a feeling of personal loss that is shared throughout all of Boston Bridge & Steel."

OSHA fatality investigation

A spokesman for the fire department said it was "time-consuming" to safely remove the steel.

"The safety and security of our employees is of utmost importance to Boston Bridge, and we are fully cooperating with local authorities as they investigate the circumstances that led to this tragic accident."

Investigations Underway

Authorities said that from a preliminary investigation, it appears the death was an accident. It is still unclear how the beam fell.

"The available evidence thus far suggests accident rather than foul play, but an investigation will reveal all the facts," Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, told The Boston Globe.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as well as the district attorney's office, has launched an investigation.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Fatalities; OSHA; Steel

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