1 dead in S. Loop construction accident

August 18, 2009 (CHICAGO) The victim, who is in his 30s, was pinned in the equipment after it crashed to the ground around 9:30 a.m. Emergency crews extricated him, but he did not survive the fall.

The construction worker was in a Bobcat that fell seven stories at a Chicago Housing Authority demolition project in the 2400-block of South State Street. That project started approximately three weeks ago.

"I heard the crash and I heard the ambulances and the fire trucks coming. I turned around and I seen them rushing in here and I seen other workers coming to help lift the tractor off the gentleman," said Sam Moore, witness.

A number of the victim's co-workers were at the scene but were too distraught to talk.

"They had to use the crane to lift him out. They put him in the ambulance after they put the collar on his neck and everything. He didn't look too good. He wasn't moving," said Moore.

Moore says the victim appeared to be unresponsive and was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Chicago police and detectives are conducting a death investigation. A spokesperson said the accident happened at the six-building project that is expected to be completed in December.

OSHA investigators confirmed the victim was in the Bobcat at the time of the accident.

"He went into the Bobcat and was driving it off and something happened, either he backed out and it fell over. We're not sure how it ended up on the ground," said Sgt. Dennis Hinkson, Chicago Police Department.

The owner of the suburban construction company told ABC7 that, although Bobcats are small machines, they are delicate and difficult to operate and they are extremely dangerous.

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