A male worker was killed this morning at the construction site of a new St. Paul Saints (independent; American Association) ballpark when a concrete section of the Gillette building collapsed.
The accident happened around 8 a.m., and Johnny Valek, 61, of Plymouth was operating a crane, clearing debris from the site. From the Pioneer Press;
Residents at the Northern Warehouse Artist Cooperative, to the southeast of the construction site, said the work appeared dangerous — heavy equipment was often visible close to ledges and overhangs.
“I’ve been sitting here day after day, and it looks unsafe,” said resident Michael Daly. “The big construction equipment is on the edge of the building while (they are) tearing it down.”
It is important to note that the crane did not collapse or fall off the side of a building; the building collapsed on the crane.
The incident is under investigation, with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) set to be involved. As of 10:30 a.m., the victim’s body had not been removed from the scene of the accident.
The Saints front office issued the following:
“There is profound sadness in the St. Paul Saints organization today after learning about the passing of a worker at the Lowertown site. At this time we want to send out our deepest sympathies to the family who lost a loved one in this tragic accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and our entire community on this heartbreaking day.”
The former manufacturing plant in St. Paul’s Lowertown area is set to be the site of a new 7.000-seat ballpark, opening in 2015.
RELATED STORIES: Design deadlines slip on new Saints ballpark; Saints, city make up $8.8M ballpark funding shortfall; Saints add $1M to new ballpark funding; Price tag for new Saints ballpark rises by $9M; Testing at new Saints ballpark sites yields unexpected contamination; Saints ballpark renderings released; environmental study appoved; Ryan awarded Saints ballpark design/build contract; St. Paul reverses course, will let Saints ballpark contrat to bid; Opponents file TRO to halt work on new Saints ballpark; Saints ballpark design/construction reward under review; No reason to worry about gap in Saints ballpark funding — yet; Design/build team announced for new Saints ballpark; Saints, Huskies ballparks pitched for Minnesota state funds; St. Paul: We’ll request economic-development funds for new Saints ballpark; Affiliated ball in St. Paul? Don’t hold your breath; Duluth: We’ll continue seeking state fund for Wade Stadium renovations; Duluth Huskies unveil renovation plan for Wade Stadium; St. Paul officials confident in scoring state aid for Saints ballpark; Saints ballpark funding alive — but just barely; State aid for Saints ballpark coming down to the wire; Saints ballpark bill suffers setback in state Senate; St. Paul close to acquiring land for new Saints ballpark; Saints ballpark funding passes hurdle; Saints ballpark funding part of state bonding bill
Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you a subscriber to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter? You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.