Updated at 4:54 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 23:
Federal authorities are investigating a construction accident at a private residence at 61 Dunster Rd. in Bedford that injured five people, two of them seriously, early Wednesday morning.
Acting Fire Chief Paul Sheehan said rescue personnel were dispatched around 7:30 a.m. after receiving a call from Dunster Road. “A collapse occurred when eight workers were attempting to raise a gabled wall as part of a major rehabilitation project,” Sheehan said. Five workers were trapped by the collapse.
The chief reported paramedics found someone, apparently a coworker or someone who was passing by, applying first aid to one person who had been extricated from the collapse.
Firefighters from Billerica, Burlington, and Concord assisted with the extrication. The injured were taken to Lahey and Emerson hospitals by the Bedford and neighboring ambulances as well as Armstrong Ambulance Service.
“It seemed like they may have had too few workers for the weight of the wall, but again I’m not in a position to make that determination.” said interim Bedford Fire Chief Paul Sheehan during a press briefing at the scene.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) “has taken over the investigation at this point,” Sheehan said.
A couple of trucks at the scene were marked with the name E&G Builders, an East Boston contractor. Someone who answered the phone at the firm’s office said, “I’ve got guys in the hospital. Call back later.”
The chief said one firefighter, whom he did not name, was injured during the extrication. He remained on duty initially, Sheehan said, before seeking medical attention.
Later in the afternoon, a few of the remaining E&G workers started getting some equipment from the trucks and appeared to be getting ready to do some work. But they were sent back to their trucks and left the scene a short time later.
The home has been under construction for several months. The existing home has been completely gutted for renovation and expansion. Among the many changes being made, the original garage is being expanded to three bays with a family room slated to be built above it. The wall that collapsed was over the garage, facing the street. The owners of the home have been living elsewhere during the construction.