Around 1:45pm on Wednesday, emergency crews responded to a call for a floor collapse at the old Edison power plant at 776 Summer Street.

Firefighters performed a technical rescue with three people trapped. Boston EMS took two of the workers to area hospitals shortly after the collapse. A third worker was rescued after being trapped for three and a half hours and taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The power plant is currently going through the deconstruction phase to make way for a large scale development. 

OSHA is currently investigating.

The following statement was released by Suffolk, the company responsible for the deconstruction of the power plant:

An incident occurred at the 776 Summer Street redevelopment project in South Boston today. A catwalk in the 1898 building collapsed and three workers were injured. There were no fatalities. Our thoughts are with the individuals who were injured, along with their families. We are currently on site working closely with OSHA, our subcontractor and the local authorities to determine the cause of this incident and confirm the safety of the site. Safety on our jobsites continues to be our number one priority and we will continue to do whatever it takes to ensure our workers return home safely at the end of every work day.

A spokesperson for Hilco Redevelopment Partners (HRP), owner of the site said, “The safety of the workers on site and in the surrounding areas is our top priority. We are thankful for the swift response from Boston emergency services. As members of the South Boston community, we, along with our contractor, will work with all local authorities to address the situation and keep the community up to date on developments.

Image via Hunter Murtaugh

Suffolk has also stopped all of its work in Boston for a safety review in the wake of the demolition accident. The construction company announced a stand-down Thursday “to reinforce job site safety awareness.” The temporary halt work will continue through Friday – or longer if needed.




One Comment

  1. Jim Coveno May 6, 2022 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Edison is a complicated project that has received extensive and, in some instances, unprecedented community input. As part of the community input many members of the community were of the opinion that safety during construction for the greater Southie community was paramount. The discussions primarily involved the existence of the hazardous materials known to be on the site, and that during the demolition (deconstruction) phase these hazards would most likely be at risk of being released into the greater Southie community. The elected officials and BPDA taking a cue from the resident’s concerns, required Redgate Hilco to utilize a deconstruction strategy that would minimize the risk of exposure to the community. The BPDA, ISD & the elected officials made the decision that utilizing wrecking balls, dropping walls, and explosive use would pose increased risk to the community. This resulted in the deconstruction strategy being employed. It is certain that this deconstruction strategy (essentially picking apart the buildings piece by piece) would create less noise and would minimize the potential of hazardous materials becoming airborne and adversely affect the residents of Southie. But what the BPDA, ISD and the elected officials did not consider is that by requiring Redgate/Hilco to utilize this vastly more expensive and time-consuming method, they were inadvertently placing the deconstruction workers at greater risk. Piece by piece removal is inherently riskier to the workers when compared to other industry standard demolition methods. For sure the BPDA, ISD and the elected officials were acting in the best interest of Southie residents, but these actions placed the workers in a position of increased risk. It is yet to be determined by OSHA if the deconstruction contractor in any way did not follow safety protocols, task-based risk assessment plans that are in place or if the very nature of the demolition strategy imposed by the City government is what placed these workers at risk, resulting in their injuries.

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