August 15, 2019 | Susan Napier-Sewell

How far away is death?


How far away is death: “Just terrible, terrible luck”

A woman, her husband, and their dog were out for a stroll in Boston’s North End waterfront on July 25, 2019, when a metal railing plummeted from a nearby rooftop, striking the woman on her head and knocking her down.

According to the Boston Globe, “Witnesses said it appeared that a construction guardrail on the roof of 47 Commercial Wharf East was dislodged by a crane lifting a pallet of materials to the top of the five-story building. The woman was knocked to the ground where she lay motionless. ‘It didn’t fall in front of her. It didn’t fall behind her,’ said Alex Goldfeld, an employee at the nearby Beacon Hill Athletic Club on Atlantic Avenue. ‘Just terrible, terrible luck.’”

The 30-year-old woman is reported by the police to be in stable condition. The husband called 911 immediately, and nearby onlookers ran to a area gym for towels and in search of someone who knew first aid.

The metal railing from the roof was a construction guardrail, dislodged by a crane bringing a pallet up to the top of the building.

The Globe story highlights that the “freak accident” in a neighborhood with many construction sites provoked questions about safety.

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Accidents, How Far Away Is Death?, Root Cause Analysis
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