DRESBACH, Minnesota (WXOW) – A worker on the new I-90 bridge project is severely injured in a construction accident Wednesday morning.
The man, identified as a 19-year-old man by the Campbell Fire Department, was injured when he fell 45 feet into a cofferdam at the construction site on the Mississippi River.
A cofferdam is a temporary structure built to hold back water while bridge pilings are constructed.
Its still not clear what caused the man to fall into what his known as the Pier 2 cofferdam. According to a statement from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), shortly after 9:00 a.m., another worker saw the fall and started their emergency response plan.
Because of the location of the cofferdam, which is on the water, rescuers were ferried out to the cofferdam. They used one of the cranes to lower a rescue basket into the dam to help bring the man out.
He was brought to shore by boat, then transferred to a waiting Tri-state ambulance to take him to a Gundersen Health System in La Crosse.
According to a Minnesota Department of Transportation official who spoke to WXOW, the man was a worker for Ames Construction of Burnsville, Minnesota, who is helping build the bridge.
La Crescent and Campbell police, Campbell Fire Department and First Responders assisted with the rescue along with the Winona County Sheriff's Department.
Campbell Fire Chief Nate Melby said that the success of the rescue Wednesday was due pre-planning on the part of the construction company and emergency services. "In the weeks and months leading up to this construction, we have had extensive pre-incident planning conversations with Ames Construction, including several meetings with Ames' Safety Teams and local emergency services. The on-scene cooperation and planned response between emergency services and Ames Construction at the scene worked very well as a result of this planning."
Investigators from OSHA, the Occupational Safety Health Administration, are on the way to the construction site to look into the incident.
In a statement from MnDOT project manager Mark Anderson, he said, "Right now our immediate concern is the health and welfare of the injured worker. Work on Pier 2 has temporarily stopped while the incident is being investigated, but work on the rest of the project is continuing. There is no impact to traffic on the construction site."
WXOW will continue to bring you updates on this story as they become available.
BREAKING: A person has fallen off the Dresbach Bridge near the construction area. Tri-State says it is a rescue operation at this time. We do not know the injuries of the person. Reporter Pete Zervakis is on scene and we will continue to follow this story as more information becomes available.
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