Drilling rig collapse kills 1 at Toronto's York University

A construction worker died and rescue crews managed to free another after a piece of heavy equipment collapsed at York University in Toronto on Tuesday afternoon.

Another man freed from wreckage, rushed to hospital

A drilling rig collapsed at a York University construction site on Tuesday. One person is confirmed dead. (CBC)

A construction worker died and rescue crews managed to free another after a piece of heavy equipment collapsed at York University in Toronto.

A large piece of equipment — believed to be a mobile drilling rig — collapsed, crushing two construction vehicles and trapping the operators inside just after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

"For reasons unknown it toppled over, landing on two other large pieces of construction apparatus," police Sgt. Simon Fraser told CBC News. One of the operators was pronounced dead, the other was trapped inside his vehicle but was removed after a dramatic rescue operation that took two hours.

He was rushed to Sunnybrook hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, including a broken femur, according to police who described his condition as serious but stable.

Police have not released the name of the man who died, pending notification of his family.

Four other workers were injured in the incident. Three had minor injuries and one had serious injuries, according to Toronto Emergency Services. All were taken to hospital.

"I would like to give my hats off to Toronto Fire Services for the incredible work they did today as well as the construction workers who aided their fallen comrade and the emergency services and paramedics who attended to this gentlemen," said Fraser.

"Air ambulance was standing by in case the emergency surgical team needed to extricate him through their methods," said Fraser. "But luckily that wasn't required and the party was extricated without a surgical procedure being done here."

The incident happened beside York's Schulich School of Business on York Boulevard, near Keele Street.

It is not known what caused the incident, but TTC spokesman Brad Ross says it happened at the future site of the York University subway station, part of the Spadina line extension.

Ross said the men working at the construction site are subcontracted and that while it is a TTC site, the contractor has ultimate responsibility for its safety.

York University confirmed to CBC News that no students were injured.

Police said the Ministry of Labour would investigate.

With files from The Canadian Press