UPDATED at 12:30 p.m. with statement from construction firms and club spokesman
ST. LOUIS — A construction worker was rushed to a hospital Thursday morning when a stack of drywall toppled onto him at the MLS stadium, St. Louis fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said.
The accident happened about 6:40 a.m. at the St. Louis City SC stadium, near North 20th and Market streets.
Jenkerson said the worker suffered injuries mostly to his legs.
“He might have some broken bones,” Jenkerson said. “Drywall is heavy stuff.”
The victim was transferred by paramedics, and Jenkerson said he thinks the man was critical although he did not have an update on the man’s condition.
Rescue crews taking the man to the hospital told fire officials that construction workers had been using a forklift to move drywall, and the load shifted.
“That’s when the drywall temporarily pinned the construction worker,” Fire Capt. Garon Mosby said. “The coworkers freed him before we got there.”
The victim was conscious and alert as he was taken by ambulance to a hospital, Mosby said.
Mosby said there have been one or two other calls for paramedics for incidents during construction at the stadium, “but it’s been relatively safe for that magnitude of a project.”
St. Louis-area construction firms Alberici and L. Keeley and Minneapolis-based Mortenson are building the 22,500-seat soccer stadium. Construction is slated to wrap up in July.
The inaugural season of St. Louis City SC starts in March 2023.
The construction firms released a statement after noon on Thursday, saying in part, “Safety is a top priority for our project team and a full investigation into this incident is being conducted. Construction work continues on-site.”
The statement also said the worker “received immediate medical attention from project safety personnel and first responders and was transported to Saint Louis University SSM Hospital for further care.”
A spokesperson for the club said they’re hoping the injured worker has a quick recovery: “Our construction partners have done an incredible job focusing on the safety of the stadium construction site, and we very much appreciate their quick actions in handling this situation.”
Steph Kukuljan of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.