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Boston parking garage under construction partially collapses, killing 1 worker

Several floors of a downtown Boston parking garage collapsed on Saturday evening, killing one person, officials said.

The Government Center Garage was in the process of being demolished as part of the Bulfinch Crossing Project when a portion collapsed.

Authorities confirmed one construction worker was killed and a second person was transported to an area hospital. The second person was not physically hurt.

On Sunday, a labor union identified the worker as 51-year-old Peter Monsini, who had been a member of the union for 20 years. Monsini's family released a statement Monday.

"We are in shock and trying to process the loss of Peter," the family wrote. "He was a loving son, brother, father, uncle and friend. He was full of life, passionate, thoughtful, and will be missed deeply by his family and partner Alicia."

The MBTA suspended service on the Green Line between Government Center and North Station and on the Orange Line between North Station and Back Bay so structural engineers could determine if the tunnels under the garage were damaged by the collapse. Shuttles will operate between North Station and Government Center. Bus routes 92, 93 and 11 will be diverted from Haymarket Station to North Station.

In a statement, T officials said they anticipate the service changes could last several days.

"The T will not resume rail service through this area until a team of structural engineers, examining and assessing infrastructure above and below the surface, confirms that subway service can safely resume," the MBTA announced. "The T will provide service updates to customers as this inspection work continues, but anticipates these service impacts could last for several days."

All streets around the scene of the collapse are open again, Boston police announced Sunday morning.

Multiple floors of the Government Center garage came down after a crane collapsed on areas that were under construction, crews on scene told WCVB. Construction firm John Moriarty & Associates said in a statement Saturday that part of the garage came down after a concrete slab on the ninth floor collapsed.

Boston Fire Commissioner Jack Dempsey told reporters Saturday night that a worker who was completing demolition work in a construction vehicle fell over the side of the garage when the structure collapsed, falling a significant height.

The worker was found under a pile of rubble and pronounced dead at the scene by authorities, Dempsey said.

“This is a horrible tragedy and my heart goes out to the family and loved ones of the worker,” said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. Work at the site is suspended "until further notice," she wrote in a tweet Sunday.

The body has not been immediately recovered because Dempsey said firefighters are waiting until the Boston Inspection Services department determines the area can be safely entered.

“We're not going to put anybody in there until it's safe to do so,” Dempsey told reporters.

A host of authorities including the Suffolk County district attorney's office will investigate the collapse. The district attorney's office is located close to the site of the collapse.

James Borghesani, a spokesperson for the DA's office, said that “to know that one of the workers on this project has tragically died weighs heavy on our hearts.”

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will play the leading role in the investigation, the Boston Globe reported.

Boston police officers, firefighters and emergency service personnel, and state police troopers all responded to assist during the incident Saturday.

Material from the WBUR Newsroom and Associated Press were used in this report

This article was originally published on March 26, 2022.

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