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Four rescued in accident at Loop construction site

Four workers were injured when a steel beam fell at the construction site for a skyscraper along the Chicago River, just north of Lake and Canal Streets. | Brian Jackson/ Sun-Times

Four construction workers were rescued Monday morning after they were hurt when an I-beam collapsed at a construction site at Lake and Canal streets.

Two steel workers atop the beam “rode it down” as it fell 20 feet to the ground.

Four workers were injured at a construction site near Lake and Canal streets Monday morning. | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

Rescue workers used a crane to remove one of the men, who was hoisted from below ground on a stretcher. Three of the men were in serious condition, while a fourth suffered minor injuries and was in stable condition, said Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford. They all were taken to local hospitals shortly after the beam fell about 9:10 a.m.

“There was a structural steel collapse,” said Assistant Deputy Fire Commissioner Mark Nielsen. “The rescue was easy. Nobody was buried. . . . I do know they’re conscious and alert,” he said.

“We’re not sure exactly what happened, ” said Nielsen, who added that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had been called to investigate.

Dozens of construction workers, several with cellphone cameras activated, watched the rescue.

The building, which extended several stories, will eventually be 50 stories tall, Nielsen said.

Three of the men were seriously injured; two of them were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, while the third was taken to Stroger Hospital, Langford said. The fourth man, who was less seriously injured, was taken to Rush University Medical Center, where his condition had stabilized.

Contributing: Ashlee Rezin

Construction site at Lake and Canal where four workers were rescued Monday morning after they were hurt when an I-beam collapsed. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times