Charlie Baker

‘Horrible Tragedy': Gov. Baker Says Parking Garage Collapse Cleanup Could Take Days

The governor urged residents to be patient, saying the state will do what it can to mitigate potential impacts

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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker spoke Monday on this weekend's deadly parking garage collapse in Boston's Government Center, calling it a "horrible tragedy" and asking residents to be patient, as the investigation and cleanup could take "several days."

Peter Monsini, 51, of South Easton, was killed when a portion of a downtown Boston parking garage that was being demolished collapsed on Saturday. Monsini was completing demolition work in a construction vehicle that fell over the side of the garage when the structure collapsed.



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The demolition is part of the $1.5 billion Bullfinch Redevelopment Project, construction firm John Moriarty & Associates said in a statement. The finished project is expected to include a parking garage surrounded by office and apartment buildings.

The victim of the Government Center Parking Garage collapse has been identified as construction worker Peter Monsini, who according to his cousin was born with an "Excavator in his hand". "I looked up to him, he taught me a lot," said Richard Monsini, Peter's cousin and friend.

"Obviously, we, like everybody else, feel terrible about the operator who lost his life and his family," the governor said following a ceremony celebrating the opening of New Balance's new manufacturing facility in Methuen. "It's a complicated project and I'm glad that no one else was hurt given the size and scope of the accident. I do think it's going to be several days before we're really even going to be in a position where the MBTA's going to have a chance to inspect the tunnels and surrounding area."

The construction accident had a huge impact on traffic over the weekend. The on ramp to Interstate 93 north and south were both shut down near Government Center after the collapse. There were a number of road closures near the North End and Haymarket areas as well, which made it tough for drivers.

All roads reopened Monday.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority released a statement Sunday informing commuters that the T was suspending service through the tunnels which travel beneath the Government Center Parking Garage as safety inspections are conducted.

Starting Monday, service is suspended on the Orange Line between North Station and Back Bay and on the Green Line between North Station and Government Center until further notice.

Baker said the state will do what it can to create "as many diversions and alternate approaches to get in and out of that area as we can, but it's going to be a complicated cleanup and it's going to take a few days for us to figure that out."

"There's a lot of work that has to be done to investigate both what happened and what will need to be done and what kind of shape that whole area is in, and that will take several days, and during the process of doing that investigatory work we'll do what we can to ensure people can get into and out of that area."

Federal safety records show 11 OSHA violations since 2012 for J. Derenzo Company, resulting in $87,220 in penalties.

The incident, he said, "was a horrible tragedy for the gentleman who died as well as for his family and obviously for all the coworkers involved."

"I do think it's going to be important that this site be tread on lightly as people do the work of investigating what happened," Baker added. "That is going to require several days of diversions and alternatives. I would ask people to understand and recognize that it's important that we be careful and cautious and go slow on this."

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