Construction worker at Museum of Science and Industry pinned under forklift, critically injured

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A construction worker was critically injured after being pinned underneath a forklift inside the Museum of Science and Industry Monday night.

Authorities responded to the museum in the 5700-block of South Cornell Drive at about 10:29 p.m., police said.

A 51-year-old man was struck by the forklift and pinned underneath the 2,000 lbs. forklift in a six foot hole, injuring the man's left arm, authorities said. Workers were completing the removal of a 1,000 pound electrical vault underneath the first floor of the museum.

Witnesses said it was as the 2,000 pound forklift attempted to lift the vault and then a floor access panel gave way, causing the worker to be thrown into the six-foot-deep vault and the forklift to fall in on top of him.

The man was trapped for about 45 minutes before being freed by the Chicago Fire Department. He was transported to University of Chicago Medical Center in critical but stable condition, CFD said.

"His arm was actually pinned to the ground by one of the forks on the forklift. It went through his arm and pinned him to the ground," said CFD Special Operations Chief Tim Walsh.

The accident comes as the Museum of Science and Industry undertakes a year-long renovation project to modernize the historic building.

In a statement, a spokesperson with the museum writes, "We take the safety and well-being of everyone onsite at MSI very seriously and are working with the contractor to thoroughly review the situation. Our thoughts are with him and his loved ones."
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