Vikings Stadium Accident : 1 worker dead; 1 injured

Vikings Stadium Accident : 1 worker dead, 1 injured

One construction worker is dead and another is in serious condition following a roofing accident Wednesday morning at the Minnesota Vikings stadium site.

John Wood, senior vice president from Mortenson Construction, said an employee of Berwald Roofing fell about 50 feet from the northside roof of the stadium into a snow drainage gutter about 7:45 a.m., while another Berwald worker was also injured in the same incident.

Wood was not able to give the identities of the two men during a late morning press conference.

“This is a very tragic day in the life of a stadium construction company,” Wood said. “We cannot express how saddened everybody is that is working on this project. Our condolences go out to the family, friends and loved ones of the two men, especially the man who lost his life.”

The Minnesota Vikings offered condolences via a statement on the team’s website.

“Today is an extremely sad day for the Minnesota Vikings organization and the entire stadium team,” the statement read. “Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the individual who passed away, the worker who remains hospitalized, and the more than 1,000 dedicated construction workers who are on the site every day and are also affected by this accident.”

Wood says he will be working with authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, but there are few details available at this time.

Wood did say both workers were transported to nearby Hennepin County Medical Center, and that the man who died was pronounced dead on arrival.

All construction on the site has stopped, and the roughly 1,200 people working on the stadium were sent home. Wood guessed the Berwald Roofing crew was about 25 people at the time of the accident.

Roof installation was expected to be completed in November, with the facility expected to open in July 2016. The 1.8 million-square-foot stadium will cost $975 million.

Wood said he is unsure how the work stoppage may affect the tight construction timetable, but said it was possible work could resume Thursday.

“We’re not thinking about the construction schedule right now. We’re thinking about these two men, and their families,” he said. “We’ll get to dealing with the impact on the construction schedule when it’s appropriate to do so.”

Mortenson has worked on several stadium projects recently in the Twin Cities, including Target Field, TCF Bank Stadium and an expansion project on the Xcel Energy Center. There were no fatalities in any of those construction efforts.