12/16/2013 11:48 EST | Updated 02/15/2014 05:59 EST

Boy's death at Hamilton industrial site probed by police

Hamilton police investigators remain at an industrial site where a nine-year-old boy died after being hit by a falling piece of steel Sunday afternoon. 

The boy, who was with his father, was struck in the head, Hamilton EMS officials said. He was taken to Hamilton General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police are now attempting to piece together just what happened and determine whether any charges will be laid.

“Until that’s determined, it will remain a joint investigation between Hamilton police and the Ministry of Labour,” said Const. Debbie McGreal-Dinning.

The incident took place around 1:45 p.m. at Ralm Industrial Millwrights Inc., on Imperial St., near Sherman Avenue North and Burlington Street East, according to workers near the scene.

The person who answered the phone at Ralm Industrial immediately hung up when a reporter identified himself on Monday morning.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour is waiting for police to finish their investigation of the scene before moving in to examine it themselves, spokesperson Matt Blajer told CBC Hamilton.

“We can’t even get in there to check things out,” he said, adding he couldn’t yet say if a child should have been allowed on the site because ministry officials still haven’t seen it.

“At this point in time I’m not going to comment because our inspector still has to go in and take a look around,” Blajer said.

As of Monday morning, the scene was still cordoned off by yellow police tape, with officers and officials milling about. The building is located in a complex of warehouses and small machine shops.

“I don’t want to talk about it right now,” said one worker near the scene who asked not to be identified. “It’s all still in my head right now.”

Paul Penn, who lives in an apartment near the industrial complex, was outside his home Sunday at the time of the accident. He said he heard a “bang,” but initially “didn’t really think anything of it.”

That changed when he heard first responders rushing to the scene. They were met by a woman who was “screaming and crying,” Penn said.

“I’ve never seen police … rush out of their cars as fast as they were doing, so I knew right away that there was something going on.”

News of the incident has frightened Penn’s two sons, who are six and nine years old.

“They were both scared out of their minds when they heard,” he said. “Now they’re scared to come out here by themselves.”

The Hamilton EMS crew that tried to save the boy were pulled off the road afterwards for trauma-related counselling, EMS officials told CBC Hamilton.

“When we attend any scenes that involve children — especially a critical situation — we often pull the paramedics off the road,” said Jay Szymanski, a professional standards commander with the Hamilton Paramedic Service.

“We don’t get a lot of bad, awful traumatic children calls,” Szymanski said. “Nobody likes to do calls like that with children. They're so innocent and so small.”