Skip to main content

Worker killed when concrete slab falls at new ballpark site in St. Paul

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Early reports indicate a backhoe operator was killed early Tuesday when a concrete slab fell at the construction site of the new minor league baseball stadium in downtown St. Paul.

The laborer was involved in tearing down the old Gillette building at 310 East Fifth Street, near the St. Paul Farmers Market, KARE 11 reports. The man was identified by St. Paul Police as Johnny Valek, 61, from Plymouth, Minn.

There was a “partial building collapse,” trapping a worker inside what had once been a 650,000-square-foot factory, the Star Tribune reported.

The accident happened at about 8 a.m., FOX 9 reports.

The Pioneer Press spoke to Randy Valek, the veteran demolition worker's brother. "He said it was the toughest job he's been on," Randy Valek told the newspaper.

Mayor Chris Coleman said his heart goes out to the family of the worker. “Construction work can be a dangerous job, and so today I am thankful to all the men and women in construction trades who day in and day out work to make our community a better place,” the mayor said.

Rachel Contracting, based in St. Michael, Minn., was hired by Ryan Companies for demolition work on the Diamond/Gillette building, FOX notes. Demolition work began in July.

The new ballpark is to be home to the St. Paul Saints, who currently play at the aging Midway Stadium.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

North High principal Mauri Friestleben returning to finish year

The principal said Friday she had been fired from her role over her support of a student protest.

ambulance

One dead, two injured in wrong-way crash on Hwy. 169

The crash occurred on Highway 169 early Sunday morning.

minneapolis police

Man fatally shot overnight in north Minneapolis

The shooting was reported around 2:20 a.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.30.08 AM

Campsites closed at Voyageurs National Park due to 'historic' water levels

All backcountry trails and campsites are closed, as well as many frontcountry sites.

state capitol Minnesota

Lawmakers reach agreement on tax cuts ahead of session's end

Lawmakers announced they had reached a deal on a tax bill Saturday ahead of the looming session deadline.

281699116_10226502238438986_800951410789352812_n

Victims of daytime drive-by shooting in Robbinsdale identified

The two men died after a hail of bullets struck a vehicle.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.14.37 AM

Source of 'loud explosion' in Brooklyn Park a mystery

The noise was investigated by police, but no source could be determined.

covid, vaccine, booster shots

COVID: All Americans over 50 advised to get a second booster

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise again as new COVID variants emerge.

J.W. Peck (left) and Eric Galler.

2 Minnesotans inducted into White Castle's Hall of Fame

White Castle — it's what a man in Minneapolis and another in Woodbury, crave.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 5.46.37 PM

Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.

IMG_3509

Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.

Related

Taxpayer league sues St. Paul to stop construction of new Saints ballpark

The Taxpayers League of Minnesota is suing to stop construction of the new St. Paul Saints stadium in Lowertown. In its suit filed Friday in Ramsey County District Court, the taxpayer league claims the city of St. Paul violated competitive bidding laws when it awarded the design-build contract for the new stadium to Ryan Cos.

St. Paul mayor eyes $27M for Saints ballpark

The ink is barely dry on state bonding legislation that created new economic development grants, but St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman is already chasing more than half the money to pay for part of a proposed downtown ballpark for the St. Paul Saints. Coleman said the minor league park is "shovel-ready" and, if funded, could open in time for the 2014 season.