FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plans to inspect the construction company that was working on a Fall River building when loose bricks fell and injured two pedestrians walking below.
Police said the two men, ages 34 and 25, were passing by the building on South Main Street when they were hit by falling bricks.
Both were rushed to Rhode Island Hospital. Police said the 34-year-old is in critical, but stable, condition, while the 25-year-old is in stable condition.
Nuno Souto, owner of Josue Construction, said he was working on the roof, and admitted he was trying to secure the bricks when they fell.
“It was very loose,” he recalled. “I tried to secure the stone and move it out of the way, but then we took off the stone and the whole thing fell off.”
Ted Fitzgerald, a spokesman for OSHA, tells 12 News the agency plans on inspecting the construction company.
“If an inspection identifies violations, OSHA could issue citations to and propose fines for the employer,” Fitzgerald said.
Mayor Paul Coogan believes this all could have been prevented if the construction company had blocked off the sidewalks to prevent people from walking underneath where they were working.
“Especially when you have the potential for something to fall off of a building,” Coogan said. “It should have been, at minimum, police taped, so no one can cross into that area.”
Souto said when construction began on Monday, the sidewalk was blocked off with a police detail, but since they weren’t working on the front of the building Tuesday, he didn’t think it was necessary to keep it closed.
Coogan said the building is being revitalized into apartments with commercial space on the first floor.
Police have not released the names of the victims involved in the incident.