Monday, April 03, 2006

Read The Comment After This Post!

[UPDATE 2008:Audio Post Link No Longer Available.]


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad your comportable, Ruth... and that you missed this just 1/2 block from St Francis House, and on your (and my) walk to the Boston library...

Death came crashing down - The Boston Globe

The scaffold accident on Boylston Street took the lives of two
construction workers and a Boston physician. (David L. Ryan/ Globe

Death came crashing down
Scaffold's fall kills 3; hunt is on for answers
By Suzanne Smalley and Raja Mishra, Globe Staff | April 4, 2006
A three-ton construction scaffold plunged yesterday from a building onto
busy downtown Boylston Street, killing two construction workers and a
young doctor who was driving by.
The scaffold had been affixed near the top of a 14-story Emerson College
dormitory under construction and was being dismantled when it came loose,
hit an adjacent building, then crashed seven stories to the street. State
and federal investigators and Boston police are still investigating the
cause, authorities said.
The scaffold and building debris thundered to the ground just after 1:20
p.m. Screams came from the dust cloud that enveloped the block as
passersby rushed to a crushed gray Honda sedan. Soon, there were three
bodies under white tarps lying on the street amid twisted steel and
scattered piles of debris and glass, witnesses said. The lone horn from a
demolished car droned as rescue workers rushed to the scene.
''I saw it crash to the ground, and all of a sudden it was like 9/11, and
I saw people run to the car, at least 10 men, and try to pull the crane
off," said ironworker Mark Elliot. ''I saw a body next to the crane. And I
saw that the . . . car was crushed with people inside."
The accident, without precedent in recent Boston history, took the lives
of three people and shut down part of a city teeming with construction
sites and hulking equipment.
Boston police identified the dead motorist as Michael Tsan Ty, 28, of
Roslindale, and the two construction workers as Robert E. Beane, 41, of
Baldwinville and Romildo Silva, 27, of Somerville.
Two other victims were transported to the Boston Medical Center and
Massachusetts General Hospital, where they are being treated for injuries
that are not life-threatening.
''A guy goes off to work, and something like this happens," Mayor Thomas
M. Menino, said as he visited the accident site yesterday. ''It's very
Others narrowly escaped the same fate.
''The platform came within 6 inches of my head," said John Hynes, 48, who
sat in his BMW as debris rained on it. ''It's my lucky day. I'm still
standing." Hynes, a real estate developer, is a grandson of a former
Boston mayor, John B. Hynes.
The owner of Macomber Builders, which ran the Emerson project, said the
two dead workers were employed by a subcontractor, Bostonian Masonry of
East Walpole. The accident's cause had not been determined, said John
Macomber, the firm's owner and chief executive officer.
''We don't really know what happened yet, and we'll work really hard to
try and find that out," he said. ''But right now we're mostly thinking
about these families, and our prayers are with the people who were killed
and injured today."
He said that the scaffold ''fell off the side of the building out towards
Boylston Street and down," but he did not know why. He said such
scaffoldings are widely used in construction projects and are generally
considered safe.
The South Boston-based firm has had a string of federal workplace
violations stretching back more than a decade, some involving scaffolding.
Bostonian Masonry also has a record of workplace safety violations.
Investigators from the federal Occupational Safety and Health
Administration opened an inquiry yesterday into the incident, as well as a
safety review of the rest of the Emerson dormitory project.
Emerson's Piano Row Residence Hall and Campus Center at 150 Boylston St.
is scheduled to open this fall, with plans to house 560 students and
provide meeting places for campus clubs. It will also contain a full-size
indoor basketball court.
The scaffolding, called a hydraulic mast-climbing work platform, had been
used by workers from Bostonian Masonry to apply stonework to the exterior
of the building, authorities said. At least one of the dead workers had
completed a specialized training course in dismantling the scaffold, said
Armand Rainville, chief executive officer of Fraco Products Ltd., the
Montreal-based maker of the scaffold. He said there has never been a
similar accident with his firm's scaffolding products.
Emerson College canceled classes in two nearby campus buildings. The
accident also tied up traffic downtown around the Boston Common and
Downtown Crossing, the nexus of Boston's workday bustle. City officials
urged businesses in the area to let employees out early and asked those
who drove to work to take public transportation home.
But throughout the afternoon, crowds gathered near the accident site,
where dozens of people said they had witnessed the collapse.
James White, 39, of Dorchester, said he drove by seconds before the
scaffold fell, missing his car by feet.
''All I heard was a crackling noise, and then I saw the scaffolding fall
off the building," said White, who jumped from his car and ran to the
crushed Honda. ''Both of the people that I seen, neither was talking. One
of them had a lot more blood coming, and the other was unconscious."
One witness, a 54-year-old Boston man, who asked to remain anonymous, said
he was sitting on a park bench on the Common when he heard a loud,
metallic clanging noise. He looked toward Boylston Street and saw debris
flying though the air. ''It came off all at once, and it was coming fast,
believe me," he said. ''I thought it was part of the building coming down.
It sounded like a two- or three-car accident, and it was echoing off all
the buildings."
Some Emerson students saw the accident occur from the Walker Building at
120 Boylston St.
Dan Rofsky, 19, an Emerson freshman, had just walked down Boylston when he
heard a thunderous crash. ''I couldn't see above the smoke cloud," he
''I had this crazy thought of mortality" just after it happened, he said.
''I could have died."
Andrea Estes, Thomas Palmer Jr., Jenna Russell, Adrienne P. Samuels, and
Lisa Wangsness of the Globe staff, and Globe correspondents Dan Muse and
Liz Raftery contributed to this report.

Anonymous said...

Armand Rainville, chief executive officer of Fraco Products Ltd., the
Montreal-based maker of the scaffold. He said there has never been a
similar accident with his firm's scaffolding products.

This guy is full of bullshit.
This happened to a guy in NJ in 2003. I suspect that they forgot the huge lawsuit their going through right now.
Their product kills people. Its unsafe and of bad design