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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Man dies after fall at F Street construction site

A man fell to his death while installing a window on the seventh floor of the new GW residence hall on F Street Tuesday afternoon.

Rosaulino Montano, 46, lost his balance on the inside of the building at about 1:30 p.m., and died instantly after he fell out of the window and hit the concrete below. Montano worked for Engineered Construction Products, a window subcontractor for primary contractor Clark Construction.

Mike Alto, a spokesman for Clark, said he was unsure whether Montano wore a harness at the time of the accident. The Occupational Safety and Health Association is investigating whether the construction company followed all safety precautions.

“I know that’s part of the OSHA discussion,” Alto said, referring to whether Montano was tethered.

Clark stopped work on the building after the accident, but resumed Wednesday morning. ECP resumes work on Thursday.

University spokeswoman Tracy Schario said Montano, a resident of Burke, Va., had several children. She declined to provide further explanation of how Montano lost his balance.

“Really until there’s a full investigation, it’s premature to speculate the cause of the accident,” Schario said.

A receptionist at ECP said the company had no comment regarding the incident. OSHA does not comment on ongoing investigations.

Montano’s body was taken to the D.C. Medical Examiner’s office and he was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. on Tuesday. Beverly Fields, a spokeswoman for the office,said the cause of death was blunt force injuries to the head, torso and extremities. The Medical Examiner classified the death as an accident after performing an autopsy.

D.C. Fire Department/EMS spokesman Alan Etter said on scene that he could not determine the age of the victim because of the state of the body.

“Anything where you can look at someone, and tell how old they are, is destroyed,” Etter said.

Sophomore Lorraine McDonald, a second-floor resident of Guthridge Hall, said she saw a silver metal box fall from one of the upper floors of the building between 1:30 and 2 p.m. McDonald then heard a scream coming from the construction site.

Montano’s immediate family could not be reached before press time.

The construction project was started in Oct. 2007 and is estimated to cost about $75 million before its slated completion in summer 2009. A large crane assisting in the construction was removed in early November, and construction workers are now working on windows and interior fixtures, according to a University Web site that follows the construction project.

Alto said as many as 200 workers can be present at any given time throughout the day, adding that there are about 25 subcontractors performing different tasks.

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