The article has been updated to reflect the version that ran in print on Oct. 19.
A 53-year-old subcontractor died following a 60-foot fall at the Yale Central Power Plant Saturday morning.
The man, whose name has not been released to the press per a request from his family, worked for International Chimney. The subcontractor was working in the non-active chimney stack as part of a larger upgrade to the entire power plant before he fell. New Haven firefighters were dispatched at 10:11 a.m., immediately after the event occurred, according to New Haven Fire Department Operations Chief Matthew Marcarelli. The firefighters arrived approximately four minutes later. After what Marcarelli described as a “complicated rescue,” the worker was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he died.
“Yale extends its deepest condolences to the worker’s family, friends and co-workers,” Karen Peart, a spokeswoman for the University, told the News. “The University is providing support and counseling to anyone at Yale who has been affected by this sad news.”
Though Marcarelli would not comment extensively on the nature of the injuries sustained by the worker, he said the injuries were clearly life-threatening when firefighters arrived on the scene.
Marcarelli said the incident was initially reported as a fall, but as more information came in, it was upgraded to a “special response,” meaning that along with additional fire companies, the fire department also called in a squad company — a rescue team that has special expertise, Marcarelli said.
Marcarelli added that it was a complicated rescue for the firefighters, but it seemed to go as well as could be expected.
While firefighters worked to rescue the man, one of his co-workers provided him aid, Marcarelli said.
Marcarelli described the area that the subcontractor was working in as “pretty hazardous.”
Following the incident, Marcarelli contacted International Union of Operating Engineers to put the other workers in contact with counselors to talk about the traumatic events, he said. Marcarelli added that the worker himself was a member of a New York local of the International Brotherhood-Boilermakers union.
According to International Chimney Vice President Edmund Gasiecki, the corporation is working with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in an ongoing investigation to determine what happened at the work site.
Representatives for OSHA could not be reached for comment.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time,” Gasiecki said. “The events Saturday deeply saddened all involved.”
OSHA workers who were on-site following the accident could not be reached for comment.
Marcarelli said that Yale Public Safety and the Yale Police Department are aiding in OSHA’s investigation.
The University has not issued a statement to students regarding the incident.
Yale’s Central Power Plant was originally designed to burn coal.
Paddy Gavin contributed reporting.