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One killed in collapse at Tallinn excavation site

Rescuers on the scene at the collapse on Monday. 10 September 2018.
Rescuers on the scene at the collapse on Monday. 10 September 2018. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

A collapse occurred at an excavation site at Tammsaare Park in Central Tallinn on Monday, as a result of which a construction worker died.

An emergency call was placed at 16:46 EEST regarding the collapse, which occurred at the excavation site of an old market building.

ERR journalist Vahur Lauri, who was at the scene, initially reported that a male construction worker died in the collapse; the death was later confirmed by spokespeople for the Northern Regional Rescue Centre.

The victim's body was recovered from the rubble by Monday night. Rescue workers' recovery efforts were slowed and hampered by the fact that they could not rule out the possibility of further collapses at the site.

"Rescue workers recovered the [body of the] construction worker killed in the collapse from the ruins of the cellar of the market building," Lauri recalled. "Prior to that, Lilleküla firefighters had taken down a limestone cellar wall in order to be able to safely reach the scene of the accident themselves. You could see the remaining part of the cellar arch; you couldn't see any support below it. Just how well the arch under which the killed worker was working had been supported, what he was doing there and what safety measures had been taken will all be determined in the investigation."

The Lilleküla Company is the only company in Tallinn outfitted with the equipment needed to respond to such a collapse. A dog on the scene also helped rescuers find the body.

According to Estonian Rescue Board spokesperson Indrek Hirs, the victim was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, but the blow sustained from a large piece of falling rock was very strong.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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