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First responders, surgeons able to free trapped, injured worker at power plant without having to amputate his leg

First responders at collapse scene

First responders work to free, save trapped worker. Photo by Boston EMS.

Boston EMS reports that after first responders rushed to the old L Street power plant after a floor collapsed while workers were demolishing it this afternoon, they were able to remove two injured workers fairly quickly, but the most seriously wounded man remained trapped in the rubble.

Knowing he was seriously injured and needed hospital care, Boston EMS summoned a surgical team from Boston Medical Center to amputate his leg to get him out and to the hospital. But the first responders and surgeons were able to get him out without that:

In one final coordinated attempt they were able to release the patient without necessitating amputation.

Surgical team about to go in, and workers comfort each other after the collapse (photos by Live Boston):

Surgical team going in
Workers comforting each other at collapse site


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I hope the seriously injured worker pulls through. It's good that they were able to get him out at last without amputation. What a nightmare.

Voting closed 60

Can you imagine being on that surgical team, being called to that scene, the weight of needing to make that amputation decision and then being prepared to perform the surgery in the middle of a building collapse site?

Voting closed 5

Their day (and the construction workers’) sure puts the stress I feel over an Excel spreadsheet in perspective.

Voting closed 4

I can't imagine being the trapped worker and hearing that I couldn't be freed without having my leg amputated, and then still having both legs in the end. I would think about it every time I put two shoes on.

Voting closed 43

He may end up still having to have it amputated, if it was that extreme an injury. But obviously it's better to do that in a non-emergency setting (and in a hospital) than at the site of the accident.

Voting closed 2

Has anyone read any updates on the condition of the workers removed from the site yesterday? We have the usual helicopters hovering over the site today -

Have been looking around to see how the workers are doing but not successful in locating any information. Such an ordeal for all.

Voting closed 29

But rather EMS felt that the worker had other serious injuries requiring hospitalization which couldn't be deferred/treated in the time it might take to remove the debris which was trapping his legs.

Voting closed 23

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 be most likely beat 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.

Voting closed 27