Boy falls 40 feet from steel beam in Glassport


GLASSPORT, Pa. —A 13-year-old boy was flown to Children’s Hospital after falling 40 feet from a steel beam Monday afternoon in Glassport.

The borough’s police chief said the boy was injured after falling at an old factory near 3rd Street, next to the train tracks behind the borough building and police department.

According to a police report, the boy was with two friends who ran to a nearby business and called 911 after he fell. Police say the boy was conscious when they arrived.

“I was surprised that he was conscious when we got there, let alone speaking with us,” said Lt. Ronald Benoit with Glassport police.

Teens who live near the factory say it is a popular place for children to play and climb in the beams, even though they know it is dangerous.

“There are three ladders that climb up into the upper section. The boards there are probably like 20 or 30 years old, so the kids walk on the boards and they fall,” said teen Val Ross. “It’s a death trap.”

Glassport’s mayor, Rosemary Bradley, said she hasn’t heard any concerns about safety at the factory, or about children playing in it since she took office in January. But she said she has been speaking with the building’s current owner since the accident.

“I think that when the gentleman comes down and we sit down to talk about it, we’ll come to some solution,” said Bradley. “I’d like to see the whole building come down.”

Bradley said the building was originally a U.S. Steel factory, and is now owned by Joe Kovalchick of Indiana, Pa. His company specializes in rail materials and steel, including salvaged materials.

The boy was flown to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. His condition was not immediately available.