One dead in workplace incident at site of Old St. Mary’s Hospital

JEFFERSON CITY — Law enforcement confirmed one person died Tuesday in a workplace incident involving a retaining wall at the site of the Old St. Mary’s Hospital.

The Jefferson City Communications Center said they received a 911 call at 12:57 p.m. reporting a construction worker was trapped underneath a large concrete block retaining wall on the site of the Old St. Mary’s Hospital.

Fire and Police were immediately dispatched with the first units arriving on the scene within one minute of notification. According to Jefferson City Fire Chief Matt Schofield, many people were working on site at the time of the incident and first responders were told there was a single occupant who was trapped.

A news release stated that when emergency personnel arrived, they “assessed the situation, located the victim and confirmed that the individual was pinned beneath the blocks.”

In an effort to free the individual, Schofield said firefighters worked to make the area safe by starting shoring and stabilization efforts, securing the collapsed wall while attempting to make access to the individual.

Firefighters continued rescue efforts for approximately 40 minutes before fully gaining access to the victim, a release said. When they accessed the victim, Cole County EMS paramedics determined that the victim had died as a result of the injuries sustained from the collapsed wall.

However, Schofield said the victim’s name will not be released at this time pending notification of the family.

Schofield said multiple agencies responded to the incident with the fire department dispatching more than 20 of its personnel.


Other agencies that responded include Cole County Emergency Medical Services, the Jefferson City Police Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Jefferson City building official Larry Burkhardt said Tuesday there were two construction companies working in the area where the incident happened– one working on the retaining walls and the other working on the actual property.

The company working on the property which would soon to be a Courtyard by Marriott hotel is Thomas Construction, according to Burkhardt.

A representative for Thomas Construction, Jim Nugent, said all of the operations on their end were suspended for the day and the incident was “a tragedy.”

“It’s a terrible thing,” Nugent said.

Authorities said the Jefferson City Police Department is conducting a death investigation.

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