Posted by: iBerkshires | October 28, 2008

Overboard Update

Update on 10/29:

Three men installing a work platform under the overpass tumbled off on Tuesday afternoon, according to MassHighway spokesman Klark Jessen on Wednesday. “All three fell at the same time.”

One was able to grab onto something; the other two fell about 40 feet into the Hoosic River. Jessen confirmed that all three were wearing harnesses.

Both men who fell into the Hoosic’s flood control chute were treated and released from North Adams Regional Hospital. Neither was seriously injured although the second man (seen above wearing a pink coat thrown down by a passer-by) is believe to have broken or otherwise injured his arm.

Firefighters were able to pull the first man up with a rope he attached to his harness.

The three are employed by Tri-State Painting, a subcontractor working under J.H. Maxymillian. They were preparing the platform to do some work on the bridge’s trusses.

Jessen said it was not clear why  or how the accident occurred. OSHA is expected to investigate the accident, as it does all construction accidents; Jessen said Maxymillian was also planning an internal investigation.

The work area was shut down on Wednesday, in part because an early snowstorm.

Two men fell from the construction area at the Hadley Overpass this afternoon and were requested from the water of the Hoosic River.

Details are still unclear at this point, but the men were apparently working for a subcontractor on the bridge. Several people at the scene said the men were related, and that when the first fell in, the second jumped in to save him.

Both men were plucked safely from the flood control chute, which is flowing heavily because of the recent rains. That rushing current may well have been a lucky break – in dry times, the river is shallow stream along the edge of the concrete chute.

One man was rescued unharmed from behind City Hall; the second from beyond the West Main Street, behind Subway. The Fire Department (which is across the street from the work site at the Hadley) responded promptly and was able to get the men the second man out using a ladder. The second man is believed to have injured his arm; the first appeared soaked but without serious injuries.

Representatives from MassHighway, which is overseeing the construction, declined to comment at the scene. North Adams Fire Director Stephen Meranti was still gathering information so we’ll update when we find out more. Meranti did say this was the second or third time this year the department had had to pull someone out of the flood control chute.


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