Guy climbs up construction crane on West Broadway, starts coming down, falls to his death

Man on crane

Man on crane. Photo by Nate Morrow.

Updated, 5:15 p.m.

Around 4:30 p.m. a shirtless man went into the construction site at 6 West Broadway, near the T stop, and climbed to the top of a 15-story crane, where he spent about 40 minutes clambering around the cables at the very top before starting to head down.

Around 5:10 p.m., he grabbed onto a rope, under the crane's cab, and was swinging from it. Then the rope snapped and he plunged to the ground.

Police had shut surrounding roads, including the West 4 Street and Broadway bridges. The T had the Red Line bypass Broadway.

Photo by David Reker:

Crane climber



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    A friend of mine used to do

    A friend of mine used to do this for fun, albeit at night when no one could see him. I wonder how they're sure he's not just up there for fun. It sounds like they're assuming he's suicidal.

    A good lesson

    Never trust your life to a rope you find that somebody else left. It can look fine, but be seriously compromised by age or exposure.

    Better Lesson

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    Don't climb up a construction crane.

    Not the only way to meet a rope

    People leave ropes tied to all kinds of things, not just cranes. If the only lesson you take from this is "don't climb on cranes," you might well avail yourself of a convenient-looking rope to help you get up or down a rockface you encounter on a hike. Or climb out of that swimming hole you found on your vacation. Or whatever.

    Or we might be a bit more

    By on

    Or we might be a bit more intelligent than you and not use an unknown rope no matter what swimming hole or rack face we may be visiting.

    Well, then

    You'd be too intelligent to need the advice about not climbing on cranes, wouldn't you?

    BTW, knowing not to use unknown rope doesn't make you any "more intelligent than" me, since I'm the one who posted the warning about that in the first place, no?

    That rope...

    is for for the crane operator to hoist his lunch box up to the tower, nothing more. It's not weight bearing, certainly not for more than 25lbs. Obviously not for swinging on.


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    Get a new screen name. Adam, I'm no prude, but that's offensive.


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    Time to

    sue the rope manufacturer, the store who sold the rope, the people who made the fence that should have kept him out, the people who put up said fence, the deity who made the dirt the crane was sitting on...

    And ...

    By on

    your response has what to do with a complaint about a screen name?

    You've been on here for 8 years, did you hit the wrong Reply link?


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    I've never seen or noticed this person commenting ( or if I did I may have already complained).

    Adam's site, Adam's rules.

    The case remains. That word is vile in reference to anything.


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    My point was the name's been around. That's all.

    And honestly, everyone has varying level of tolerances for words. I don't find this one as vile as you do/ Probably because I have one. And I recognize that it is often used as a weapon of anger to throw the recipient off or make the receiver feel small and worthless. Thus my response to someone using it is laughter - because I know the person using it is really the small and worthless one.

    While your case remains, it only remains for you and others who feel the same. Not everyone agrees with you.

    Actually you can edit your

    Actually you can edit your user name. The account is tied to the email, not the user name. So it is possible that this account has been here but the username was different. I have never seen it.


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    He refers to a place of prostitution as a whore house.

    Will you please go somewhere and grow up? Or at least be quiet while the grownups are talking?

    I Don't Think Adam Has Ever Done That

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    While Adam did use that prefix for a house serving as a brothel, he didn't use the word in reference to individual employees of the establishment — there's a difference. Of course, the word itself can refer to people of any gender, and not necessarily those who sell themselves.

    Do you have some other example?

    For the police - doesn't matter if he's suicidal or not

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    Whether he's doing it just for "fun" or to kill himself, the results could be the same regardless if his hand slips, he misjudges a distance, etc. Their job now becomes keeping him from killing himself out of stupidity or despair. Bottom line, he shouldn't be on it. It's moronic to do it for "fun" - he falls and paralyzes himself, the construction company will get sued for this dumb decision. Unless you're part of the construction crew, stay off construction site period.

    This is one of friends he was

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    This is one of friends he was doing it for fun he loved to climb everything! He was such a great guy and will defiantly be missed ❤️

    Closure of Broadway Statio

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    Thank you, Universal Hub. Getting numerous texts from the T that Broadway Station is closed and traffic reports that some streets are closed due to police action. No other explanation on any other news outlets, twitter, etc., EXCEPT on your website!

    Crane Engineers

    No doubt the BFD/BPD contacted a crane engineer who knew what was going to happen when he grabbed that cable. Rough.

    It was mostly cops FYI.

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    It was mostly cops FYI.

    Cops and EMS consistently see the worst of humanity. Firefighters don't even come to close.


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    Firefighters do come close. And the aftermath of this was disturbing, per my BFD friend.

    sure they do

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    I've heard some pretty gruesome stories from the several in my family, unless they're lying. Firefighters still respond to medicals, auto accidents, etc.

    as a former EMT-P

    Firefighters see plenty of bad stuff as they are first responders in almost every area of the US.

    I've seen gunshots, decapitations, missing limbs, etc, none of it really fazes me anymore.You do become somewhat desensitized to most of it.The only thing that would really bother me now would be when something happens to kids.

    It was all three.

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    The cops had to go in first to make sure he was not a threat if he survived. Once the cops made sure it was secure, EMS came in to attempt treatment. Fire had to bag and remove the deceased from the pit at the bottom.

    It was a team effort, and all three performed in an outstanding manner. Sometimes it just doesn't turn out the way you wanted.

    ~ a cop who was there.

    Not true

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    Most FD are also EMS.

    Also? Cops brag about the gory things they see, firefighters see far more and aren't narcissists about it.

    Your not true is not true, at least in Boston

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    In smaller towns, perhaps, but in Boston, firefighters and EMTs are in separate departments (and yes, I'm sure there are firefighters who have EMT certification here, but that's not their primary mission).

    not to speak for them

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    But I think that's what they meant. Fire is certified for and frequently performs emergency medical services, but they are not the primary department for emergency medical services.

    I was there for about a half

    I was there for about a half hour and recording on my Facebook live. Police were pushing me back and the guy was starting to climb further down so I left. Guess I just missed him falling.

    He was doing push-ups and hanging by one arm. Crazy stuff!!

    South rope swing

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    IM fairly sure he was not intending on harming himself, he was up their simply to try n beat the heat.Look at loc. the fort point channel was turned into a highway n the MDC closed the pools

    South rope swing

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    Um, pretty sure he wasn't up high up on blazing hot metal with no shade trying to beat the heat.

    Facebook live?

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    Is there anyway we can connect? I would liike to see what you did without the ending. We r his family & we r trying to process this devastation. Ty

    Yes, Because Housing Is Worse Than A Bar,

    and a Gas Station.

    For what it's worth, Nutzo and Bagsy didn't get displaced for this project, nor I believe has anyone else. Save for maybe a few SRO occupants above Triple O's (Is upstairs still a flop house?) no one has really been displaced by any of the loads of residential development between A, West Second, and Dot Ave, including 9 Broadway.

    For those of you with short memories just 16 years ago that area had two of Whitey's Bars, a vacant printing plant, an auto repair shop with an IRA sign on it despite the owner being Jewish and most of his employees being black, two vacant lots, The Quiet Man (oohhh Steak Tips!), a vacant church, a gas station, and the soon to be closed Cardinal Cushing School for Unwed Mothers.

    Mul's is still there. I hope no one protests the ridding of Boston's filthiest gas pumps when the Mobil at A and West Broadway goes away next.

    Stay strong old time South Boston. I don't know how you see with those glasses that make you see and think 1985 every time you put them on.


    I see 1975 when I put those glasses on. Before the word artisinal became fashionable and Barracuta coats were all the rage.Oh, and my mother was a 1960 graduate of Cardinal Cushing and might take umbrage with your generalization.

    This is an article about a

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    This is an article about a man who fell to his death. Jeez, my grandfather and uncles fought Hitler all across Europe and don't talk about it as much as people on this site talk about old southie, no mater what the news item is about.

    By 1985

    Things were a tad different based upon those who I knew who went there then. Right up there with St. Pregories.

    By the way, if you see 1975 South Boston do you see all the rocks getting thrown at kids on school buses?

    Sure did!

    I also witnessed the merciless beatings of black kids on Bunker Hill street and getting slapped around by the TPF and watching kids string fishing wire from one building to the one across the street so they could throw rocks from the roof and then laugh at the trap that would send the motorcycle cops flying. Good times.

    You know, when Boston owned it's racism....?

    Kind of

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    It was actually a corner store that had the IRA mural painted on the side. It was owned by my parents.

    Well Then

    When my father used to get his radiator fixed at the corner Dorchester Ave and West Fourth (Albany Radiator, Where Moonshine is now), I never noticed and milk or sundries for sale, just mechanics who were high.

    I prefer

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    knuckle-dragging moron who should be spending the rest of his life in prison.

    I'm pretty sure they guy who

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    I'm pretty sure they guy who owned the building when it was Triple O's still owns the building.

    For a minimal upgrade investment, he looks like he's set up a lean, affordable kind of AirBnB in a fairly commercial area where no neighbors will complain night and day about what he's doing.

    Unlike most people in Southie, he just seems to have adapted with the times and is an old-time Southie guy who is prospering from his neighborhood as it changes.

    Lots of folks are, they just

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    Lots of folks are, they just don't brag about it or need for their business to be made public. Nice try at slandering a whole neighborhood of originals however.

    What were the two bars that Whitey owned there?

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    I only know of Whitey having an interest in one bar in that area. Triple O's, which was owned by one of Whitey's confederates, is the only one he had anything to do with as far as I can remember. That building is still there.


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    So it was gentrification that made one of my classmates climb a tower like that and get electrocuted?

    Talking late 70s here ...


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    On the way home from a candidates' forum in Brighton tonight, I thought about whether I'd post a photo or video of him falling if somebody had sent it to me.

    Obviously, we have the famous local example of Stanley Forman's photo of the woman falling to her death with her goddaughter about to land on her, and, in New York, the Falling Man photo from 9/11.

    But both those photos used the tragedy of impending death to help tell a larger story: In the first case, of the fire escape that collapsed (why did it collapse; could the death have been avoided with better inspections?), in the second, the photo, in a way, sums up a mass murder of innocent people.

    But while this man's death is obviously a tragedy to his loved ones, the greater story seems to be: Hey, don't climb to the top of 15-story construction cranes where you don't belong and don't swing from any ropes you find up there. That's not really much of a big-picture message. Maybe we'll learn there's more to his story, but until then, just running a photo of him about to die seems a bit too voyeuristic for me (and yes, I realize the same could be said about the photos I did run).

    I think it's newsworthy,

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    I think it's newsworthy, though. You can still speculate whether he let go or it broke, but the video makes me think he was not a suicide but an extreme thrill seeker, who definitely had the physical skills to survive this, if not the judgement.

    Not for me

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    I most assuredly do not need to watch a video of a human being falling to his death. It's not "interesting," it's the last moments before a real person's life ended.
    No thank you.

    Don't click on play?

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    I see it both ways. It can be newsworthy. It definitely showed to me that he wasn't swan diving to end his life but was continuing the same shenanigans that all the other pictures showed.

    From the Globe article the "reports of a man threatening suicide" appear to have zero sourcing and likely come from people misinterpreting his actions on the top of the crane. He probably leaned way out and someone thought "jumper!" when they called it in.

    But if Adam had put it here (with appropriate disclaimers) then I wouldn't fault him for that either. If people don't want to watch, they don't click play...maybe he needs a "hidden"/"spoiler" style tag that would even require you to expand the video first.

    Yes, exactly. This

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    Yes, exactly. This "threatening suicide" thing was hard to grasp. How to you threaten suicide from 15 stories in the air when no one hears you?

    I live across the street, so it's just something that I thought more about than most people in the city, I guess.

    And I don't think the "fall" video was too graphic. It's not a photo of the impact.

    I am still left somewhat troubled by the fact that we know nothing about who this was. That's the most unsettling thing for me of all of this, because he was probably someone who hung around the neighborhood who people knew, at least from sight.

    I will tell you who this was and was not!

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    I thankfully missed the fall video... I hope its never played again. Chris was a mentally ill beatiful soul whom I have had the privilege to watch grow. He loved everyone & they loved him. He was so caring & went out of his way to make others better. He has struggled with mental heath issues all his life & this is not the first time he has done something like this. His job involved climbing great heights, & he was good at it. Leaving him with a false sense of security. What happened here was tragic & my heart is empty. I will never know why he did this, with his knowledge of rooes I am struggling to put it together myself. What I do know is the world lost an amazing person & heaven gained the sweetest angel. I love you Chris & I dont know how to live twithout you!


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    I am sorry for your loss. May your Chris rest peacefully now with the angels. Blessings to all who are left to mourn him.

    Chris was an awesome dude. I

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    Chris was an awesome dude. I have a family member that worked with him cutting trees. I met him for the first time the Friday before all of this happened. They came to my house after work and we was talking about life and his snakes. He should me pictures of them. We even all for into deep conversations. I notice his troubles and told him dude ur an awesome person don't forget that. It started getting late so I asked him if he wanted a ride any where and he said no I got my wheels. Lol he walked down my stairs put his skateboard on the floor put his hands in his pocket and smiled at us as he skated away. That would b the last imagine of an awesome kid that I met once and made an impact in my life.

    Voyeurism versus Journalism

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    I think you found the right balance. Nobody needs to see that.

    If it were an industrial accident, then those seeking to prevent it should see it. But the story is "guy climbed crane, sported death, and got killed". The gory details do nothing to enlighten.


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    But I'm sure there will be an OSHA hearing though.

    Why Would OSHA Get Involved?

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    The sad event had nothing to do with occupational safety; it was a trespasser on a construction site. As far as I know, OSHA doesn't investigate incidents of trespassing on railroad tracks that result in tragedy, and this seems no different.

    Of course, reasonable signage, fencing, and other general safety measures are required at construction sites, but none of that can stop a determined individual with disdain for their own life and safety.

    His name was Chris!!

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    I cant believe how cruel & insensitive some ppl can be on the internet. His name was Chris, he was only 23! He is an experienced climber of very high things as it was his job. He was also mentally ill. We his family & loved ones are crippled with emotion & devastated to the point of non functioning. He was the most beautiful soul & any one of you would have been honored to know him. Instead of speculating & writing hurtful things, be human & Realize he has a family & so many friends. he is so loved. For us its constant breakdowns & the struggle to try and go on without him . For you its just another story. Be kind.. the ones he left behind are shattered. I wouldn't wish this pain on my worst enemy.


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    I knew him... I knew his mom, his sister. I feel up with him. This hurts. This is really sad.