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2 workers killed in ‘tragic incident’ at construction site in downtown Boston, officials say

The exact timeline of events remains under investigation, according to Boston police.

The scene on High Street in downtown Boston on Wednesday morning.

Authorities are investigating after two men were killed in what officials called a “tragic incident” at a construction site in downtown Boston on Wednesday morning.

Boston Police Superintendent-in-Chief Greg Long said during a press conference that officers responded around 8 a.m. to 190 High St. for a report that two people had been struck by a vehicle. At the construction site, officers, Boston fire, and EMS located the bodies of two workers, who were pronounced dead at the scene.

“It’s a sad day,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said during the press conference near the scene.

Boston fire officials said their department was called to the scene at 8:04 a.m. for a report of a pedestrian struck by a truck. Upon arrival, firefighters engaged in a technical, confined space rescue, Boston Fire Commissioner John Dempsey told reporters.

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Once the scene was made safe, a firefighter and member of EMS were lowered into a hole to “assess” the patients, at which time the operation switched from a rescue effort to a recovery, Dempsey said.

According to the commissioner, the department had to move a truck before they lowered the two rescuers into the hole.

Long said police were still working to determine the exact timeline and series of events that resulted in the tragedy.

The investigation into the incident will be directed by Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins, in conjunction with police and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Rollins said that at this time it is not clear whether any crime took place, but she is prepared to partner with agencies in the investigation, as when two workers were killed in a South End trench collapse in 2016.

“We know that it’s a tragedy,” Rollins said of the Wednesday incident.

Boston police said the investigation remained “very active,” with the department still interviewing witnesses and reviewing video of what happened.

Walsh said in a statement released later Wednesday that while authorities work to determine the cause of the incident, the city has “immediately suspended Atlantic Coast Utilities’ only other permitted worksite in Boston.”

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“Until a thorough investigation is complete, the company will not be allowed to perform work in the city,” the mayor said. “As a former laborer, the safety of our workers is of paramount importance to me. I’m heartbroken that two hardworking people lost their lives so suddenly and tragically this morning, and we will work tirelessly to understand how this happened in order to create safer conditions in the future.”

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