Construction worker dies at IU-Bloomington project

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swain hall west construction
Rendering of the Swain Hall West project

A construction worker at Indiana University’s Bloomington campus died on April 26 when a large chunk of limestone fell onto his head and chest.

Monroe County coroner Joani Shields says 35-year-old William M. Brown Jr., of Bloomington, was killed at Swain Hall West.

Brown was working for a contractor hired by the university for a $36 million renovation of the building. Published reports say he was helping to install a limestone header above an interior second-floor doorway when the block fell as it was being lofted it into place.

Sgt. Brandon Hudson of the Bloomington Fire Department told The Herald-Times that the stone was about 6 feet (1.8 meters) long and that it struck Brown in the head and chest.

“An workplace accident this afternoon has resulted in the death of a worker for the contractor on the renovation of Swain Hall, located on 3rd street,” the university said in a statement. “The accident killed an adult male in an isolated part of Swain Hall at around 2:50 p.m. There were no other injuries.

“We offer our sympathy to the victim’s family, friends, and co-workers on the project.”

The Indiana Occupational Health and Safety Administration is investigating the accident, and work was halted on the site.

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