The death of an electrical worker who fell 75 feet at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit was accidental, according to the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office.
Michael Morrison died of multiple injuries in the Wednesday morning fall, said Lisa Croff, director of Communications & Media Relations for the Wayne County Department of Health, Veterans & Community Wellness.
Detroit Police Media Relations Director Michael Woody said earlier in the week that investigators believe the death was a suicide, based in part on the statements of witnesses.
Croff said the accidental ruling was based on Morrison's injuries. That could change as the police investigation unfolds, she said.
The Detroit Fire Department was dispatched to the arena construction site at 8:03 a.m. Wednesday. A fire department official said Morrison went into cardiac arrest.
He was pronounced dead at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
A worker died Wednesday morning at the site of Little Caesars Arena in Detroit after falling from a catwalk.
According to authorities, medical crews were called to Little Caesars Arena around 8 a.m. Wednesday to a report of an injured worker. Official say a man fell from a catwalk at the construction site from about 75 feet in the air.
Detroit Fire Department Deputy Commissioner Dave Fornell said the department received the call just after 8 Wednesday morning. Crews started CPR and then rushed him to Detroit Receiving where he later died.
Fornell told FOX 2 the man went into cardiac arrest after the fall.
Fornell said the man is 46 years old and is believed to be an electrician.
His identity is not being released.
An electrical worker died this morning after falling 75 feet at the new Little Caesars Arena construction site, Detroit Deputy Fire Commission Dave Forell said.
"We were dispatched about 8:03 this morning on the report of a fall victim," Forell said. "He'd fallen approximately 75 feet and he was in cardiac arrest."
Forell said coworkers had begun CPR on the man and emergency crews continued it as they transported him to Detroit Receiving Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Forell said the man was not wearing fall protection gear when emergency crews arrived, but that it could have been removed by coworkers who were administering CPR.
"We don't know what happened," Forell said. "Was he working with anyone else? We don't know. But that kind of fall is not usually survivable."
Forell said the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate the accident.
Ryan Maibach, CEO of Barton Malow, a company involved with the construction project, issued a brief statement this morning.
"A serious incident occurred at the job site today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the individual and his family. We are gathering more information and additional details will be provided when appropriate."
A construction worker leaving the site this morning, who didn't want to be named, told a reporter that workers were being sent home for the day.
"We're all doing OK," he said. "It was probably an accident. Safety comes first."
Workers leave the Little Caesar's Arena construction site on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, after an electrical worker fell 75 feet to his death. (Photo: Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press)
The death comes almost 15 years after another worker died during the construction of nearby Ford Field.
Gjon Gojcaj, a 42-year-old father of five from Macomb Township, died July 30, 2002 while painting trusses at Ford Field. He was more than 120 feet up in a Condor 150S aerial work platform, which tipped over when he tried to move it.
MIOSHA conducted a 9-month investigation and issued citations and penalties against Brockman Equipment, Inc. for $286,000, and Thomarios Painting for $270,000.
"Both companies were aware of the hazardous conditions involved in painting the trusses and yet they willfully placed these workers in harm's way with a pattern of indifference for their safety," MIOSHA said in its report.
An electrical worker died this morning after falling 75 feet at the new Little Caesars Arena construction site in Detroit, Wednesday, June 28, 2017. (Photo: Kathleen Galligan/DFP)
Worker dies after falling 75 feet off catwalk at Detroit's Little Caesars Arena
By Ken Haddad
Updated: 12:41 PM, June 28, 2017
DETROIT, MI - An electrical worker died Wednesday morning after falling 75 feet off a catwalk at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.
Deputy Detroit Fire Commissioner David Fornell says the 46-year-old man was in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived about 8 a.m.
Other workers had started cardiopulmonary resuscitation which first responders continued. The man was taken to a Detroit hospital where he was pronounced dead.
He was taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital. The 46-year-old man has died.
Fornell says officials were told the man was an electrical worker and may have fallen from a catwalk. He says the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration likely will investigate.
Ryan Maibach, CEO of Barton Mallow, said additional details would be given when appropriate.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the individual and his family," Maibach said.
It is unclear when construction will resume.
Ilitch Holdings released the following statement:
“Our thoughts, condolences and prayers go out to the family, friends and co-workers affected by this tragedy. We lost a member of our crew today, and it is an extremely sad and difficult time for our entire organization and for the many dedicated men and women building this project. The safety and security of everyone on our job sites remains our highest priority, and more information will be shared as it becomes available throughout the investigation.”
The arena will be home to the NHL's Detroit Red Wings and the NBA's Pistons. It is scheduled to open this fall.