A worker was killed on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol Tuesday morning when a large tree branch fell onto him, Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers said.
Pipefitter Matthew McClanahan was working on an irrigation pipe near the corner of Independence Avenue and First Street SE when the branch fell on him at 9:15 a.m., Ayers said.
McClanahan was pulled from beneath the branch, but suffered critical injuries. He died at a hospital.
"Please keep his family, friends and colleagues in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time," Ayers said.
“Matthew and his wife, Lauren, have two young children, Evie and Matthew," House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement. "Their loss is so sudden and unimaginable. I ask my colleagues and everyone in the Capitol community to keep Matthew’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”
Capitol Grounds crews with the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) are inspecting the tree and will remove the remaining portion of the tree.
Independence Avenue between Washington Avenue and First Street was closed. Crews worked for hours to remove debris from the roadway.