February 19, 2001

Worker dies after accident at Arts Center

by Josh Renaud
senior editor

A construction worker fell to his death last Friday from the top of an elevator shaft being built as part of the Performing Arts Center.

Mark Songer was transported to Barnes-Jewish Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:46 a.m., said Sgt. Bruce Gardiner of the UMSL police.

Songer had been doing work atop the elevator shaft, roughly 60 feet in the air.

"Apparently he was trying to grab a piece of equipment and lost his footing. For some reason he had been unhooked from the safety line," said Gardiner.

After the incident, the construction site was closed and all workers sent home. Representatives of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration came later that afternoon to talk with police, Gardiner said.

Songer was 37 years old and lived in the 3000 block of Meramar, in south St. Louis.

This article was reprinted with permission from The Current.

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