Worker killed in construction accident at condo development

Salem police at the scene of a fatal construction accident at the site of the former Knights of Columbus hall in Salem.

SALEM — A worker at a construction site behind the former Knights of Columbus hall near Salem Common has died after he was pinned under a small excavator Friday afternoon, police confirmed Friday evening.

The worker, whose name is not yet available pending notification of his family, appeared to have suffered serious internal injuries in the incident, which occurred around 3 p.m. 

Co-workers on the 94 Washington Square East site, which is being redeveloped as condominiums, were able to lift the small "Bobcat" excavator off the worker, Salem firefighter Chris Palamara said. 

Palamara said the worker had no visible injuries but was having difficulty breathing. 

He initially called about a medical helicopter for the worker, but due to the weather, Medflight wasn't able to respond.

The worker was taken to Salem Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at around 6 p.m., said Salem police Capt. Conrad Prosniewski, the department's spokesman.

Prosniewski said the incident is under investigation by state police, the Salem police and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.