DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit police are investigating after electrical worker died following a fall inside the new Little Caesars Arena.

Detroit Fire Department Deputy Commissioner Dave Fornell said the 46-year-old man suffered grave injuries while working at the construction site around 8 a.m. Wednesday.

“A worker fell approximately 75 feet from a catwalk at the new Little Caesars Arena area,” Fornell said. “When we arrived, he was found in cardiac arrest and they did CPR and he was transported to the Detroit Medical Center Receiving Hospital.”

The worker, who was found inside the bleacher area, was declared dead at the hospital. His name has not yet been released. Other circumstances surrounding the incident, including if the worker was wearing a safety harness, weren’t immediately clear.

“Seventy-five feet is not really very survivable. We don’t know what caused him to fall,” said Fornell. “And again, when we got there he was in cardiac arrest, he was on the ground, and then he was treated and transported immediately.”

Construction at the site was suspended for the day out of respect for the man who died, and so officials could investigate.

“It will shake your nerves, you know,” Mike Ward, who’s been working at the site for about a year, told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas. “It’s an eerie feeling, just got real quiet inside that building.”

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which investigates workplace accidents, was called to the scene.

However, a statement out later in the day by Barton Malow construction company stated they’ve reached a preliminary conclusion that the man’s death “was not the result of a construction-related accident.”

“Additional information may become available as the Detroit Police Department concludes their investigation,” the company said. “We see our work as an opportunity to positively impact people and our priority is always the safety, health and welfare of the over 1200 tradesmen and women onsite. Barton Malow-Hunt/White will be making grief counselors and chaplains available to all employees upon their return to work tomorrow morning.”

Barton Malow CEO Ryan Maibach made a statement at the scene saying their thoughts and prayers are with the worker’s family.


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