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Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

Worker Falls To His Death In ‘Tragic Accident’ At Crawford Coal Plant In Little Village

Hilco Development Partners are redeveloping the site into a controversial one-million-square-foot distribution center.

Hilco Development Partners owns the old Crawford Coal Plant site at 3501 S. Pulaksi Road in Little Village.
Mauricio Peña/ Block Club Chicago
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LITTLE VILLAGE — A worker plummeted to his at death at the former Crawford Coal Plant construction site in Little Village Monday, officials said. 

At 7:19 a.m. Monday, Reynaldo Grimaldo, 54, was attempting to climb onto an elevated platform at the old coal plant, 3501 S. Pulaski Road, before he fell 50 feet to his death, officials said.

Grimaldo, of the 2800 block of South Drake Avenue, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. The worker was employed by MTS, according to a Hilco spokeswoman.

Police are investigating his death. 

Hilco Development Partners, the firm that owns the site and is redeveloping it into a one-million-square-foot distribution center, were immediately informed of the “tragic accident,” a spokesman said.

RELATED: Massive Little Village Warehouse On Old Crawford Coal Plant Site Approved By City Council

The company “extended our heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of the MTS worker,” Gary Epstein, spokesman for the company, said in an email statement.

“We are cooperating with authorities and focused on providing the necessary support to …our employees and all those affected by this tragedy,” Epstein said

In February, a fire broke out as crews were dismantling an electrical transformer on site.

The Crawford Power Plant was shut down in 2012 after community-led efforts raised concerns about the impact coal pollution was having on the health of Little Village residents. 

Hilco’s redevelopment plan sparked anger among residents who feared the distribution center would bring more diesel trucks and increase pollution in the neighborhood. After the project was approved, at a meeting this summer, neighbors and activists called on the developer to install air monitors and extra testing ahead of the demolition and remediation of the site.

RELATED: Semi-Trucks Are Taking Over Little Village, Neighbors Say — And Giant Warehouse Plan Will Make It Worse

The distribution center is expected to be completed in 2020.