Worker dies in L.A. Metro Purple Line construction site accident

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A construction worker on the $3.1 billion Los Angeles Metro’s Purple Line project died on March 23.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority confirmed that the worker was killed while working at the future site of the Wilshire/La Brea metro station at 711 S. La Brea Ave., KTLA-TV reported.

The worker was trapped underneath a service vehicle that brings equipment and personnel back and forth from the underground site to the surface, Los Angeles City Fire Department battalion chief Kenneth Miller told the broadcaster.

Conflicting published reports set the worker’s age at 32 and 40.

The Los Angeles City Fire Department responded to the construction site around 5:25 p.m. for a report of a worker who was trapped by a service car in the underground tunnel where work was being done.

“All work at the project has ceased until further notice,” Erin Holin, spokeswoman for joint contractor Skansa-Traylor-Shea, said in an email to the Los Angeles Times. The joint venture contracted with Metro to build nearly four miles of the Purple Line extension.

“Skanska-Traylor-Shea is cooperating with local authorities and will conduct a full internal investigation,” Holin said.

Metro says the man’s death mark’s the first fatality for the agency in 10 years.

“We continue to work with the officials from all regulatory agencies to gather information on the incident and to determine what occurred,” chief executive Stephanie Wiggins told the Metro board on March 24.

The Times reports that Metro is on a massive building binge, with plans to double its rail systems over the next three decades. Five rail projects are underway, including the Purple Line extension, the Crenshaw/LAX Line and a connector to the Los Angeles International Airport.

Metro broke ground in 2014 on the nine-mile extension of the Purple Line, also known as the D Line, to run from Koreatown to the Westside, The Times reported. “The project, staggered into three phases, is behind schedule and has faced cost overruns. Wednesday’s fatal accident occurred on the first leg of the segment, set to open in 2024.”

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