A woman walking across a drawbridge was crushed to death in a freak accident after an operator raising it for a boat to pass heard her screams and lowered it - trapping her between the two plates.
The woman was crossing the Boston bridge at around noon yesterday local time when the bridge operator, not aware that she was on the structure, began raising it for the boat in the Chelsea River.
The woman grabbed hold of one of the sides of the bridge and the operator immediately lowered it when he heard her scream, but she became trapped in between the plates and suffered massive trauma, police said.
"I couldn't see her, but I could hear her," witness Waldina Garcia, 47, told the Boston Globe. "She was screaming and screaming and screaming."
The woman, who was not identified, was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators called her death on the Meridian Street Bridge, which connects Chelsea and East Boston, an accident.
The distraught bridge operator was taken to hospital for tests and Dot Joyce, a spokeswoman for mayor Thomas Menino, told the Globe that the bridge operator was put on unpaid leave pending an investigation.
Investigators told the Globe it was not clear whether the woman began crossing the bridge after warning lights and alarms were activated.