Construction worker hurt when 700-pound granite foundation stone falls on him at UMass job site

Last modified: Monday, May 25, 2015

AMHERST — A worker suffered injuries to his shoulder, hip and leg after a granite slab estimated at 700 pounds fell on him while he was working Friday on the South College Academic Facility renovation and expansion project on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus, according to a university spokesman.

Carlos Velasquez, who works for the Schnabel Foundation Co. of Southborough, was taken by Amherst Fire Department ambulance to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield for treatment, said UMass spokesman Larry Rivais. Velasquez, 55, was conscious and alert during the incident, Rivais said.

A hospital spokeswoman said Friday night that Velasquez was being treated in the emergency department.

The accident occurred just before 1 p.m. when the 32-foot by 40-foot by 12-foot granite slab, part of the foundation of the 1885 building, fell on the worker who was working on the underpinning supports, Rivais said.

Velasquez was knocked into an excavated area around the foundation and others working on the project were able to go into the trench and remove the slab to free him. Velasquez was on his way to the hospital within 30 minutes of the accident.

Daniel O’Connell’s Sons of Holyoke is the contractor for the project to renovate and enlarge the building, expected to be complete by November 2016. Schnabel is a subcontractor focused on the foundation work.

No additional foundation work was planned Friday as an investigation continued into what happened.

“They have stopped the foundation work for the day while they evaluate,” Rivais said.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy