Saturday, December 06, 2003

The Weekly Toll

Overloaded cords sparked blaze

LANCASTER -- Firefighter Martin H. McNamara V, 31, died early Saturday after entering the basement of a dwelling located at 76 Mill St.

The house fire that killed a Lancaster firefighter last Saturday was likely ignited by a series of interconnected extension cords, according to State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan.

Evidence of the extension cords, as well as a number of power strips, was discovered in the basement, where Coan suspects the fire began near the ceiling.

Md. agency probes worker's death
Case marks 4th investigation in decade for Princess Royale

OCEAN CITY -- Maryland Occupational Safety and Health officials are preparing to inspect the Princess Royale Oceanfront Hotel & Conference Center for the fourth time in 10 years after a four-story fall killed one man and critically injured another.

Michael Koch, 46, of Georgetown was pronounced dead at Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin after falling 34 feet onto concrete around the hotel's pool, Ocean City police said.

Koch and Ivan Morales, 34, of Ocean City were putting up Christmas decorations when the scaffolding they were standing on collapsed. Both men were Princess Royale employees, according to a written statement released by hotel officials.

"Investigators believe these electrical cords created the heat that ignited nearby combustibles," said a press release issued by Coan's office Friday.

"The fire then spread ... up through the ceiling and the walls," Coan said in an interview, adding that the fire moved "fairly quickly and rapidly."

One killed, seven injured in bridge collapse

A 20-year-old construction worker was killed and several others injured when a section of a bridge under construction in south Napa collapsed around 1:50 p.m. Wednesday.

Richard Christopher Stevens, of Lodi, died at the scene.

A temporary section of the eastern span of the replacement Maxwell Bridge over the Napa River collapsed in a massive heap of wood and metal.

As crews cleared debris Thursday from a collapsed Napa River bridge, state investigators said the contractor on the project has been involved in 15 other serious accidents.

The death of a worker on the Napa bridge Wednesday was the second fatality since 1991 involving C.C. Myers Inc., Cal/OSHA inspectors said.

Road worker run over by tractor-mower dies

A Harris County Precinct 1 road worker was killed when a tractor-mower ran over him.

Michael Chapa, 39, was standing next to a driverless tractor that had been pulling a grass mower when it lunged forward in the 11600 block of Illene in northeast Harris County about 9:20 a.m. Tuesday. (scroll down)

Wall collapse kills builder

CAIRO, NY - A construction worker was killed Wednesday when a concrete wall collapsed on him, police said.

State police said Wayne Bartlett, 41, of Freehold was pulling forms from the foundation of a home on John Holzman Road Extension in Cairo when a section of the wall fell and pinned him.

Police said co-workers were able to free Bartlett, but he was pronounced dead a short time later at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson, where he had been taken by the Cairo Ambulance squad.

Anchor cable kills tugboat deckhand

Portland, ME -- A 29-year-old deckhand was crushed by a cable Thursday as his tugboat was setting a massive anchor used to secure an oil rig in Portland Harbor.

Christopher Cordeau of South Portland was working aboard the Portland tugboat Pete just before 1 p.m. when a steel cable supporting the anchor suddenly pinned him against the tug's railing, authorities said.

Man electrocuted in tree-trimming accident

York, VA -- A Saluda man was electrocuted in a tree-trimming accident in York County.

County authorities say 31-year-old Stacey Cook was killed in the accident just after 11 a,m. Sunday.

Captain Paul Long with the York County Department of Fire and Life Safety says Cook was wearing a harness and was tethered to the tree, about 40 feet above ground, when he cut a large, long limb that fell down onto power lines.

Long says the limb became a conduit for 20,000 volts of electricity and hit Cook and killed him in the tree.

Falling tree kills Unity man

TROY, ME -- A Unity man who was cutting trees on a woodlot was killed Sunday when a tree fell on him, authorities said.

David Bushey, 40, was pronounced dead at the scene, the Waldo County Sheriff's Department said. Bushey was working alone at the site off North Dixmont Road.

Man installing window killed, another hurt

Hazel Green, WI - A construction worker died over the weekend while installing a window, police said Sunday.

Brett C. Runde, 28, of Cuba City died and Adam Pearce, 19, of Hazel Green was injured in the accident shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday in Hazel Green.

The pair were working on construction equipment that tipped over, ejecting them from a basket as they were installing the window, Hazel Green police said.

Construction accident kills worker

Fort Myers man electrocuted when live power lines knocked down

A construction worker was electrocuted Wednesday morning when a fellow employee knocked over a power pole with a backhoe in North Naples.

Jose Guadalupe Sanchez, 27, of Fort Myers, was killed in the 8 a.m. accident, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

The accident happened when the driver of a backhoe — who was moving cement pipes that are being installed along the road — accidentally hit the pole, causing live power lines to fall.

Garbage truck rolls over and kills sanitation worker

HARRIS COUNTY, TX -- An unidentified worker was killed when he slipped and fell from a garbage truck. — A garbage collector was killed Tuesday afternoon during a tragic accident.

It happened in northwest Harris County in a neighborhood near Sutter Park and Canyon Trail. The unidentified worker slipped and fell off the back of the garbage truck as it was backing up. The driver didn't realize what was happening because the workers were in his blind spot.

Construction Worker Kills After Slip From Roof

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A construction worker died after he slipped on an icy roof and fell 35 feet, authorities said.

William Ross Farkas, 48, of Fayette City, Fayette County, had been checking windows at a construction site Tuesday morning. Farkas was taken to Mercy Hospital, where he died about one-half hour after the fall.

Piedmont Worker Killed At Work Site
Victim Dies At Scene

Piedmont, NC High Point police said 24-year-old Joel Ramirez Sanchez died Wednesday while working at Stone Resource Inc.

Investigators said pieces of stone being transported by a crane detached and struck Sanchez.

Woman Dies 7 Months After Accident

YORK, Pa. (AP) — A woman died almost seven months after she was injured at a Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff Co. plant in West Manchester Township, authorities said.

Deborah A. Yarnell, 52, of Wrightsville, was pinned against a set of shelves by a forklift that tipped over backward April 29, York County Chief Deputy Coroner Mary Breighner said.

Repairman crushed to death in factory
He was fixing a machine at Tate Access Floors in Windsor Township.

Terry A. Houser, 42, of North Codorus Township, died Monday morningwhile repairing a machine for his employer, Tate Access Floors, of Windsor Township, York County Chief Deputy Coroner Mary Breighner said.

City Worker Killed

A Scranton city worker was killed by a recycling truck. Police say Jerry Malone,50, was at the rear of the truck. He had jumped off to pick up two recycling bins when he began pinned under the rear axle of the truck. He was trapped for nearly 20 minutes. Police say neither the driver of the truck nor the other worker saw how Malone became pinned under the truck.