WOBURN - A 32-year-old New Hampshire man was killed in what was apparently a tragic accident while working to build the addition to the Woburn Public Library, shortly before noon on Tuesday.
The identity of the man is not being released, but Woburn Police Chief Robert Ferullo confirmed the victim is from New Hampshire and is the father of two children.
The victim was reportedly working near the foundation of the library, located on Pleasant Street in Woburn Center, when he was apparently struck by a piece of rock that had broken free, according to a press release from the Middlesex District Attorney's office. He was pronounced dead at the scene and his body was taken away by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which is performing an autopsy.
According to Ferullo, the investigation is being led by Woburn Police, State Police with the Middlesex D.A.'s office and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The death "is not considered suspicious," according to the District Attorney's office.
The incident occurred at about 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday. The victim was reportedly an employee of Schnabel Foundation Co. with regional offices in Southboro, Schnabel was working as a subcontractor for W.L. French Excavating of North Billerica, which in turn is a subcontractor of Consigli Construction, the contractor for the $31.5 million library expansion and renovation project.
"At the time of the accident, Schnabel Foundation Co. was working on the underpinning of the library and the worker was working under their direction," W.L. French said in a statement. "Crews from W.L. French were working on parking lot renovations when the accident occurred, and W.L. French's machine was involved only in the rescue and recovery effort."
Officials from Consigli Construction and the city including Mayor Scott Galvin,, Ferullo, Fire Chief Stephen Adgate, and Building Commissioner Thomas Quinn gathered for a press conference at about 2 p.m. on Tuesday.
"It's very difficult for a project like this and a company like we have, there's a lot of camaraderie. People have to work closely together, and sometimes in dangerous situations. So, yes, it's a very sensitive subject for me personally, and especially for all those working alongside each other," said Matthew Consigli, president of Consigli Construction.
Galvin appeared along with members of the library's Board of Trustees and WPL Director Andrea Bunker last night at a meeting of the City Council's Infrastructure & Public Lands Committee to ask the committee to endorse a ground lease that is necessary for the expansion and renovation project.
Galvin said the construction worker's death appears to be a "tragic accident."
"We are investigating how it happened," said Galvin. "It's a sad day for the city. Our thoughts and prayers certainly go out to (the victim's) family."
The mayor said the project will be shut down at least through today. Ground was broken on the $31.5 million expansion and renovation project in late May and work is expected to conclude in the fall of 2018.