The investigation into what caused the fatal collapse of part of Boston’s Government Center parking lot over the weekend continues, with new information detailing a previous emergency call to the construction site.
Part of the parking lot collapsed on Saturday, killing Peter Monsini, 51, of South Easton and sending another person to hospital.
Monsini’s family released a statement on Monday saying they were “in shock trying to come to terms with the loss of Peter.”
Here’s everything we know about the incident so far:
Part of the Government Center garage collapsed after a concrete slab on the ninth floor collapsed. The demolition is part of the $1.5 billion Bullfinch redevelopment project, construction firm John Moriarty & Associates said in a statement. The finished project should include a parking garage surrounded by office and apartment buildings.
Boston Fire Marshal Jack Dempsey told reporters that Monsini was completing demolition work in a construction vehicle that fell over the side of the garage when the structure collapsed around 5:40 p.m. Saturday.
The vehicle fell eight or nine stories with a large amount of debris. Monsini was found under a pile of rubble and pronounced dead at the scene by authorities, Dempsey said. A second person was taken to an area hospital after the accident.
The incident was the first fatal construction accident of the year in Massachusetts.
Emergency teams were called to the same site 2 months earlier
NBC10 Boston investigators uncovered a call for help at the same construction site months before the deadly collapse. Footage of the construction area from January 14 shows a major fire rescue response.
According to scanner audio from that night, firefighters were called to a “dangerous and unstable construction site involving a crane”. First responders originally planned to stage a rescue operation on Surface Road at New Chardon Street, but later determined this would not be necessary.
According to a police report, emergency crews responded after a burst water main caused a leak at the site. The report said a fire department detail was concerned that a crane at the construction site would fall due to the water leak.
“Officers observed water coming from the construction site on New Chardon Street,” the report said.
Boston Water and Sewer responded to the leak and all streets within 300 feet of the construction site were closed to pedestrians and vehicles for safety reasons. The Boston Fire Department and Bay Crane ultimately determined the crane to be stable. The report said the site would be closed and the crane watched from the right until an engineer could inspect it. What this engineer found was not included in the report.
Federal safety records show 11 OSHA violations since 2012 for J. Derenzo Company, resulting in penalties of $87,220.
Investigation into car park collapse underway
A full-scale investigation into the collapse is currently being conducted by Boston police, the office of Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Hayden said Monday his office was not ruling out the possibility of criminal charges.
“That some degree of negligence turns into criminality, that’s what our investigation will focus on,” Hayden said.
OSHA will play the lead role in the investigation, but local, state and federal authorities will also be involved, the district attorney’s office said.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said the city would do “whatever it takes” to find out what happened.
Service has largely resumed on the MBTA’s Orange Line, but Green Line service remains suspended after the fatal partial collapse of the Government Center parking lot.
Who was Pierre Monsini?
Peter Monsini’s family said on Monday they are still trying to come to terms with his loss.
“We are in shock and trying to come to terms with the loss of Peter,” the family said in a statement. “He was a loving son, brother, father, uncle and friend. He was full of life, passionate, caring and will be deeply missed by his family and his partner, Alicia. We would like to thank the Boston Police, Fire and EMS and all responders who came to Peter’s aid. We would also like to thank the Local 4 Operations Engineers as well as our neighbors, friends and supporters near and far for the kind words we have received.
Monsini was the single father of a 17-year-old son, the family said. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Cousin Richard Monsini described Peter as his best friend and role model. He said his cousin was brought up in the demolition business because his whole family worked in the industry, making his loss even harder to reconcile.
“He was a good guy. A great guy. A hard worker and a loving father,” said Richard Monsini. “He was born with an excavator in his hand. He knew how to operate machinery. His family…our family, is in the business.”
JDC Demolition, the company for which Peter Monsini worked, said in a statement Sunday “deeply saddened” by his death.
“There are no words that adequately describe the loss of Peter Monsini, our JDC Demolition teammate. Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to Peter and his family,” the company said.
“I am truly saddened by his untimely passing,” said Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan, who grew up with Monsini and attended high school and played football with him.
“Peter was just a fun loving guy with a smile on his face, and so sorry to hear about this tragic loss,” Sullivan said.
“It’s a horrible tragedy and my heart goes out to the worker’s family and loved ones,” Wu said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the worker during this terrible time,” added Councilman Ed Flynn, who represents the ward. “Our prayers are with him, his family, and I know the city will support this worker and his family. These are tough times, but this city sticks together, especially during tough times.”
Governor Charlie Baker called the incident “a horrific tragedy for the gentleman who died as well as for his family and obviously for all of the colleagues involved”.
Impact on commuters
The shuttles that have been transporting Green Line commuters between Gare du Nord and the Government Center for the past few days have been interrupted with the reopening of the Orange Line.
The MBTA said on Tuesday it had tested its trains in the tunnels and determined it was safe to resume Orange Line service, but trains will continue to bypass the Haymarket stop in both directions until further notice.
Service on the Green Line remains suspended between Gare du Nord and the Government Center. Shuttle service on this section of the Green Line continued on Tuesday evening, but from Wednesday morning passengers are advised to use the Orange Line instead.
All roads in the Government Center area that had been closed following the accident have since reopened.