LA CROSSE, Wis. - A 19-year-old man who was working on the Dresbach Bridge fell about 45 feet into the Pier 2 cofferdam, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Campbell Assistant Fire Chief Gary Brauer says the man, who works for Ames Construction, was lifted out of the cofferdam with a basket and crane. A cofferdam is a large metal structure that had been built in support of the bridge construction project.
Another worker witnessed the fall and called 911 at about 9:05 a.m. Emergency crews had to use boats to get to the victim. Medlink was initially called to the scene, but was called off. Tri-State Ambulance transported the victim to a La Crosse hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Ames Construction says the worker had surgery on Wednesday. Ames Construction says the man's family has joined him at the hospital. An Ames Construction spokesperson says they "hope to have some additional information later tonight or tomorrow on both the workers condition and the cause of the incident."
The spokesperson says Ames Construction's safety team is at the scene of the fall and is working with project management to determine the cause of "this very unfortunate incident." The worker was part of a 5-person crew installing concrete forms. He had been a full-time employee of Ames for 6 months.
"Right now our immediate concern is the health and welfare of the injured worker," said Mark Anderson, MnDOT project manager. "Work on Pier 2 has temporarily stopped while the incident is being investigated, but work on the rest of the project is continuing. There is no impact to traffic on the construction site."
"In the weeks and months leading up to this construction, we have had extensive per-incident planning conversations with Ames Construction, including several meetings with Ames' Safety Teams and local emergency services. The on-scene cooperation and planned response between emergency services and Ames Construction at the scene worked very well as a result of the planning," said Campbell Fire Chief Nate Melby.
The Town of Campbell Fire Department was assisted by Town of Campbell police, La Crescent Fire/Rescue, Minnesota State Patrol and the Winona County Sheriff's Department.
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