Worker airlifted from Bemidji school construction site accident


BEMIDJI, Minn.—A construction worker was taken by helicopter to Fargo from the Gene Dillon Elementary School construction site Wednesday morning after an apparent fall there.

Few details were immediately available. Bob Fitzgerald, a director of operations at construction company Kraus Anderson—which is managing the project—said the man is an ironworker for Northern Industrial Erectors and was transported to a medical facility in Fargo for further evaluation.

Fitzgerald said the worker was conscious and communicating with medical personnel when he was airlifted.

He was treated near the base of one of the school's partially completed walls and below some girders before he was taken on a stretcher to the waiting North Aircare helicopter.

Bemidji Area Schools Superintendent Jim Hess said Kraus Anderson will investigate and review the accident. Beltrami County Sheriff's Office staff said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the incident, too.

The sheriff's office, Bemidji Ambulance and Bemidji Fire/Rescue responded to the accident.

Staff at Northern Industrial could not be reached for comment or information.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the man and his family, that he's going to be OK," Fitzgerald told the Pioneer.