A construction worker buried to the waist in concrete, his foot trapped under a toppled form wall, was rescued by firefighters at a South Boston building site this afternoon. "The form let go and his right foot was pinned under it," Boston District 6 Fire Chief Mark Buchanan said. "He was waist deep when we got here. It took us about an hour and a half to dig him out."
The emergency call for help came in at 2:17 p.m. Fire officials immediately called in the department's two technical rescue teams to take on the complex task of stabilizing the enormously heavy load of concrete and dirt behind the collapsed form wall while protecting the man from a further collapse.
"Because of the position of the form, to prevent it from coming onto the man, we had to brace it up," Buchanan said.
Firefighters then began removing the concrete and gravel that had broken through to cover half the victim's body.
While the rescue was taking place, the man was given a helmet to protect him from falling debris, fire officials said. Buchanan said Boston EMS crews began treating him in place while firefighters were shoring up the wall and digging him out.
"They just gave him something for the pain," Buchanan said, adding the worker was "conscious and alert" throughout the long rescue.
"They put an IV in, just in case, because there was so much pressure on his body, we didn't want him to lose blood pressure," Buchanan said.
Fire officials did not immediately identify the man or his employer at the 1 Channel Center project in South Boston.
Buchanan said rescue workers believe his injuries may have been slight.
"He'll be pretty sore and may have a broken ankle," Buchanan said.
He noted that Boston Fire teams had rehearsed a construction cave-in rescue similar to this one just days ago at their training center on Moon Island.
Written by Boston Herald