3 workers safe after collapse in LRT tunnel downtown

IMG 2183Photo credit: Kelsey Curtis

Three city employees were rescued Thursday after a portion of concrete fell inside the LRT tunnel construction zone near the University of Ottawa, trapping the workers, according to the City of Ottawa.

When the incident occurred at about 4:30 p.m., emergency services responded to the scene. The three workers were rescued after about one hour.

There were no serious injuries. Two of the workers who were trapped sustained no injuries and the other had a minor hand injury. He was treated by paramedics at the scene and then taken to hospital.

The incident was originally reported as a tunnel collapse, but Mayor Jim Watson said from the scene that it was not a collapse but rather a small amount of concrete that fell.

 “The Ministry of Labour have been contacted, as is normal protocol, to ensure a full investigation,” said Watson. “No work will take place in this portion of the tunnel until the Ministry of Labour gives an all clear sign and we’ll have greater information in the next day or so as to what the exact cause was.”

The incident took place at the intersection of Laurier Avenue and Waller Street, just west of the main University of Ottawa campus. It was near the same location where a sinkhole formed in Februrary 2014, which stalled LRT construction for one month at that time.

Laurier Avenue was closed from Nicholas Street to King Edward Avenue following the incident, and Ottawa police asked local residents to avoid driving downtown.