A Tribute Is Planned for the Men Killed in the Tragic South End Flooding
They died tragically as water gushed into the trench where they were working to fix a pipe in the South End, and now, as their families grapple with the loss, they are set to be honored next year.
The president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations says the workers, Kelvin Mattocks and Robert Higgins, will see a tribute at the Workers’ Memorial Day Commemoration in April.
“It was a horrible thing,” says Steve Tolman, the organization’s head in Massachusetts says of the fatalities, speaking with the Herald. “Both had families, both were well thought of. And they never made it home.”
The event, held annually, honors workers hurt or killed on the job. Tolman says he doesn’t yet know whether the men were part of a union.
Investigators continue to look into what caused the sudden deaths of the workers on Friday, an effort that includes the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office. The company that oversaw the work at the site, Atlantic Drain Service Co., has a record of citations for violations and have not paid thousands of dollars in fines, the Globe reports.
Witnesses and a construction worker who tried to save the workers’ lives describe a hectic, horrific scene on Dartmouth Street that saw flood waters rush into the hole, quickly engulfing the men. An effort to pull them out of the trench lasted for hours.
Mayor Marty Walsh, in a statement Friday, said it was a “difficult day for the entire City of Boston, and especially those who go to work at construction sites everyday.”
Tonight my thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two workers who tragically lost their lives while doing their jobs on Dartmouth Street. Today is a difficult day for the entire City of Boston, and especially those who go to work at construction sites everyday to make our city better. I extend my gratitude to all of Boston’s first responders, and the Boston Water and Sewer Commission workers who worked tirelessly today in the recovery efforts.