A 36-year-old woman died after sustaining traumatic injuries today while working on construction underneath the Leavey Center, according to D.C. Fire spokesman Pete Piringer.

The woman had been operating a device similar to a forklift when she became pinned in an elevated area between scaffolding and a railing, coworkers told Piringer. Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service and D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services were called to the scene, which Piringer described as an underground loading dock area, shortly after 8 a.m. to respond to a report of an injured person.

When D.C. Fire and EMS emergency services arrived, the injured woman’s co-workers had removed her from her trapped position and were performing first aid and CPR techniques on the woman, who was positioned on the ground. D.C. Fire and EMS paramedics proceeded to perform advanced life support interventions and continued their attempts to revive the woman in the GERMS ambulance that rushed her to The George Washington University Hospital, a level one trauma center, for her priority-one injuries. She was pronounced dead after arriving at the hospital.

“The injuries [she sustained] were consistent with what the co-workers [had] described happened,” Piringer said.

GERMS President Colin Brody reiterated that emergency protocol by both GERMS and D.C. Fire and EMS was strictly followed in their response to the injury.

“Our crews work with DC Fire & EMS routinely, and this was no different,” he said. “An engine company from DC Fire arrived first and began treatment, followed by a GERMS ambulance.  Additional units arrived immediately thereafter.”

Piringer added that the Metropolitan Police Department will be partnering with Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a government agency focused on prevention of work-related injuries and deaths, to conduct an investigation of the incident.

OSHA spokesperson Leni Fortson said the investigation could last up to six months and OSHA cannot comment on an open investigation until it is officially closed.

The woman was a contract worker for the science center construction that Whiting-Turner Construction  is managing,  Spiros Dimolitsas, a senior vice president and the chief administrative officer at Georgetown, said in an email about the incident. Director of Media Relations Rachel Pugh said that the company had not released the name of the woman to the university.

Dimolitsas added that Georgetown was in communication with Whiting-Turner to determine the appropriate timeline for continuing the science center’s construction.

“Out of respect for the needs of workers, the jobsite has been shut down for the day,” Dimolitsas said. “At this time it is not clear whether the injuries were work related or due to some kind of medical emergency.  Our thoughts and prayers remain with the individual’s family, coworkers and personnel impacted by this sad news.”

Whiting-Turner Construction declined to comment.

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