Monday, October 25, 2004

Weekly Toll

Trench collapse buries worker

A Northland construction worker is presumed dead after a trench-collapse accident Monday morning.

The name and age of the worker were not immediately available. The incident was reported just before noon at a home under construction at 6320 N.W. 78th Place in Kansas City, North.

Workers with the WMI Construction Co. of Riverside were working inside the 10- to 12-foot trench to connect the house to utilities, said deputy fire chief Germane Friends. One worker managed to escape, but the other one did not.
As of 1 p.m., emergency crews still were trying to recover the body.

Two die in Greenville trench collapse Alton fire crew sent to scene but too late to help

GREENVILLE, IL -- The Alton Fire Department sent a team with its trench rescue equipment to the scene of a sewer trench collapse Friday in Greenville, but the two trapped men died before rescuers could reach them, authorities said.The victims were identified as Randy Rasler, 45, of Greenville, Ill., owner of Rasler Plumbing, and his employee, Vernon Sarver, 26, of Herrick, Ill.

Tony Brooks, chief deputy coroner for Bond County, said the collapse occurred about 11:15 a.m. while the victims were working in a trench about 14 feet deep at the Wheatfield Subdivision on Illinois Route 140 on the east end of Greenville.A witness told emergency workers the two men appeared to be trying to jump clear just before the wall of the trench collapsed. Authorities said they found no signs that the trench or sewer pipe had been shored up before the collapse.

Construction accident victim dies

CAMBRIDGEPORT -- A construction worker, seriously injured Wednesday afternoon in an accident on Route 121, died from his injuries on Friday.

Rene Lavigne, 49, of Lyman, N.H., was working on a road project in Cambridgeport, when he received a severe head injury while working in a trench at the site, State Police Detective Sgt. John Hagen said.

Due to the extent of his injuries, Lavigne was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., where he died two days later.

Worker dies after trench collapse in Rogers City

ROGERS CITY, Mich. (AP) -- A worker who was trapped when a trench being dug as part of a sewer line repair project collapsed has died.

Anthony W. Darga, 22, of Rogers City, died Friday of injuries he sustained in the Thursday collapse, The Alpena News reported.

Darga was buried for several minutes until rescue workers extracted him from the trench, authorities said. He was treated and transported to Alpena General Hospital, but died as a result of his injuries.

Woman working with husband dies in sewer trench collapse

TACOMA,WA — A woman helping her husband dig a sewer line to a new house was crushed to death when wet soil collapsed into the trench and partially buried her.

Tamara Kresse, 41, of Spanaway, mother of a teenage daughter, died at the scene Thursday afternoon despite the desperate efforts of her husband Tom and others in the work crew to dig her free.

Three city fire engines, three trucks, two medical units and a technical rescue unit with a total of 33 firefighters arrived less than 15 minutes, and it took about 2 1/2 hours to free her body, spokesman Keith O'Donnal said.

The trench was 8 to 10 feet deep and 3 to 4 feet wide, O'Donnal said.
"It was a freak accident," said Nancy Rice, the husband's sister, who came to the scene to console him. "She was just a fantastic person."

City man, 30, dies after fall

CROMWELL -- A Bristol construction worker died after falling from the roof of a house in the town’s south-central section.

Anthony A. Weglarz, 30, succumbed to injuries he suffered after a nearly 30-foot fall Wednesday morning, and the incident is under investigation by police and safety officials.

At about 8:53 a.m., police received a 911 call for a reported fall victim at a new-home construction site at Lot 5 on Webster Heights, police Capt. Thomas Roohr said.

The report was for a worker who fell from the second story of a house under construction, fire incident Commander Russ Johnson said.

The fall, which police reported was from the roof, was estimated at 28 feet, Roohr said.

Death of construction worker accidental
Investigation continues, sheriff's office says

Polk County, MN -- The manager of Polk County's landfill near Gentilly said a construction worker's death there Tuesday was accidental.

The Polk County Sheriff's Department identified the victim Wednesday as Bryce H. Bosh, 41, of Grand Forks.

Authorities said Bosh, a machine operator for East Grand Forks excavating company Zavoral & Sons, was found buried in sand piled inside a lined cell at about 6 p.m. Tuesday, according to a Polk County sheriff's report. Efforts to revive him failed.

A lined cell is a one-acre swimming pool-like container designed to retain any liquid that comes in with the trash, according to Dan Wilson, the facility manager.

Each cell contains a foot-deep layer of sand to protect the lining from ripping apart. Wilson said sand usually is unloaded on the edge of the cell, then pushed in with a bulldozer - a procedure familiar to landfill workers.

But Tuesday, Wilson said, Bosh "was behind the truck, and somehow the load got dumped on him

Construction worker killed in fall from truck

PORT SALERNO — A construction worker was killed Wednesday morning after falling off a dump truck, authorities said.

The man, whose name was not released, was working at the site of a new Publix supermarket at Kanner Highway and Salerno Road when the accident occurred about 7:30 a.m.


Lawrence, MA -- LAWRENCE -- One roofer was killed and another was severely injured yesterday when the 32-foot aluminum ladder they were unloading from their pickup truck came in contact with an overhead electricity distribution line in front of a two-family house on Odile Court, authorities said.

Lawrence police identified the dead man as Roberto Fernandez, 43, a Brazilian national who lives in Lowell. The injured man was identified by police as Yannick Rodriguez, 28, of Lowell. He was in serious condition yesterday at Boston Medical Center, according to hospital spokesman Kevin Casey.

Burn holes in Fernandez's work boots, discarded at the scene by emergency medical technicians, indicated that his body took the full jolt of 7,620 volts of electricity as it flowed through the ladder to the ground, according to one of three investigators from the Massachusetts Electric Co. at the scene.

The shoes were not insulated, rubber-soled ''safety" boots, which are standard equipment for laborers who work near electricity, said the investigator, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Death at Versailles plant under investigation

VERSAILLES, Ky. - State inspectors are investigating a deadly accident at a Versailles printing plant.

Steve Sparrow of the Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Administration office said inspectors arrived Monday at the Quebecor World Inc. plant and could complete their investigation in about a month.

Carolyn Cox Campbell, 62, died Friday. Fayette County Deputy Coroner John McCarty said Campbell's death was caused by blunt chest trauma, but a final report had not been issued. He said Campbell was crushed when a forklift collided with a metal rack system.

Worker dies after fall at construction site

Cromwell, CT -- Earlier today a worker fell at the construction site of a new home in the area of Webster Heights in Cromwell.

Thirty-year-old Anthony Weglarz of Bristol fell from a height of 28 feet and was found unconscious. He was taken by LifeStar helicopter to Hartford Hospital where he later died.
The Cromwell Police Department and the Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the accident.

Polk County worker dies when home's roof collapses

Lake Wales, FL -- A Lake Wales man was killed Monday afternoon when the roof on a home he was helping demolish caved in on him and two others.

Pedro Mejia had just been told by his foreman, David Ramirez of Tri-City Demolition, to take a lunch break when there was a gust of wind and the cracking of wood, and the roof collapsed, Polk County sheriff's spokeswoman Carrie Rodgers said.

Ramirez and another laborer, Jose Domingo, had minor injuries, but Mejia was killed on impact, Rodgers said.

Lakewood man killed in accident at private recycling plant

DOVER TOWNSHIP, NJ -- A 42-year-old Lakewood man who worked at the Ocean County Remanufacturing Plant was killed yesterday when he became entangled in the drive belt of a grinding machine, police and county officials said.

Leon Perez was with a co-worker, preparing to recycle old wooden shipping pallets into wood chips, and had just started the discharge belt on an industrial tub grinder, said Robert A. Gasser, executive assistant Ocean County prosecutor. Perez was stacking pallets to be picked up by the machine's mechanical crane, when his right arm was caught in the belt and Perez was drawn into the machinery, Gasser said.

Worker killed in fall from eight-story condo

A 43-year-old man died Monday after falling from the roof of the Country Club Towers condominium in Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue responded to the condo at 2500 NE 48th Ln., and found the man alert and awake.

He was taken to Broward General Medical Center, where he later died of his injuries, said Sgt. Andy Pallen of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.

The unidentified worker fell from the eight-story condominium around 9:30 a.m Monday, said Pallen. He was part of a work crew hired to clean the drains.

Texas Officer Killed Responding to Accident

Chambers County Sheriff's Office Deputy Dirk Knearem was fatally injured while responding to an accident on Texas 73 near Hwy.124 Junction October 17, 2004 at approximately 8:00 p.m.

Worker killed in machinery accident at Shaler glass plant

Pittsburgh, PA -- Clark Weber found a long and successful career and the love of his life at Glenshaw Glass Company Inc. in Shaler.

"He was just a really, really great guy, and I just really loved him," said his wife, Marci, 43, a mechanic at the glass container maker's Shaler plant.

Clark Weber, 53, of Ross, was killed early Saturday when he got caught in a conveyer belt at the Glenshaw Glass facility on William Flynn Highway, according to the Allegheny County Coroner's Office.

An autopsy showed that Weber died at about 5:25 a.m. of asphyxiation when his torso was crushed in the equipment, a deputy coroner said. The death was ruled an accident.

Roofer dies after falling into hot tar

Federal investigators want to know whether a roofing company followed proper safety procedures yesterday before a worker fell to his death into a vat of boiling tar.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is expected to take about a week investigating the accident at Torrington's Warner Theater.

Police say it appears 21-year-old Robert Halvorsen lost his footing in the rain on the roof of the theater's Quality Building. He fell three stories into the vat of 500-degree tar.

OSHA's regional director, Thomas Guilmartin, says roofers are required to use protection against falls. Options include using guardrails or fences around the roof, harnesses, or personal monitors, who warn workers if they get too close to the edge.

He would not say what system Eastern Roofing was using at the site.

Halvorsen was a new father with a 3-month old baby.

Two co-workers were injured trying to rescue Halvorson. Michael Wellington refused treatment at the scene, but later sought treatment at Manchester Memorial Hospital. Claude Blackshev was in serious condition at Bridgeport Hospital's burn unit.

Worker Crushed in Industrial Accident

Pasadena, CA - One man died and another was critically injured Friday when they were crushed by more than 700 pounds of steel at a battery recycling plant.

The two men worked at Quemetco Inc. in Industry, where they had been employed for more than 10 years, said Mark Vondersaar, plant manager.

Officials refused to release the names of the men pending notification of relatives.

The accident occurred at 9:49 a.m. when the two men were working underneath a hydraulic platform used to load and unload trucks at a loading dock, said Ed Osorio, public information officer for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

According to Vondersaar, the accident was caused by "equipment malfunction.'

The men were crushed by an 8- foot by 8-foot, 700-pound slab of steel attached to an industrial chain that dangled from a crane 7 feet in the air before it snapped loose and came crashing down.

Three Killed in Electrocution Accident

Two witnesses are helping investigators learn more about the accident that killed three people and injured three others last Thursday at the University of Arkansas Agri Park.

The accident occurred at about 10:17 a.m. when six men decided to move a tent that had already been set up for Saturday’s Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival. Five of the men were employees of InTents, a local business that provided the tent. The other man was an event organizer.

James Parsons, an employee of InTents, witnessed the event and stated that the company was moving a tent when the top of the tent struck a power line. Parsons ran up the hill and asked a university employee, Danny Green, to call 911.

The three who died were identified as Kevin D. White, 27, of Fayetteville, Roderick M. Cook, 33, of Cave Springs and David G. Koch, 25, of Springdale.

County man, another killed in job site accident

Beaver County, PA -- An Eighty Four man and a Lawrence County man were killed Wednesday when a tri-axle dump truck backed over them at a state Department of Transportation construction site in Beaver County.

Robert "Curt" George, 33, of 120 Myers Road, Eighty Four, and Dennis Kunz, 55, of Ellwood City were walking north along a closed portion of Route 51 near Aliquippa when a truck operated by Charles Orczeck of Greensburg began backing up behind the two men.

The truck's reverse alarm was functioning, but "apparently that's a common noise that you hear all the time and you get used to it," Aliquippa police Chief Ralph Pallante said.

Remains of worker killed in ammo plant blast found

MILAN, Tenn. - Army officials recovered partial remains of a Milan Army Ammunition Plant employee who was missing and presumed dead.

The remains are believed to be those of Oscar E. Mance, a surveillance inspector at the plant. The remains were located Saturday among the debris of the earth-covered explosives storage building where an explosion occurred Wednesday afternoon. Federal officials are investigating the blast's cause.

Gary D. Porter, a truck driver and forklift operator, died at the site of the explosion Wednesday.

The victims worked for American Ordnance, the company that operates the plant for the Army.

Plant operators said the explosion occurred as workers were attempting to store propellant in the bunker.

(Both men were members of the United Steelworkers of America.)

Utility worker killed in accident

WALTHAM, MA -- A utility worker from New York was killed yesterday morning when he was swept about 160 feet into an 18-inch pipe by surging sewage.

William Oliva, 38, of Huntington, N.Y., was working in a manhole on land on Demerest Street about 11 a.m., when a inflatable balloon-like device damming the sewage pipe gave way, Deputy Fire Chief Rick Mitchell said.

Oliva was working with two or three other men to line the pipe, a project that increases the life of the pipe for about 50 years, said John Bradley, the city's director of public works.

Oliva was an employee of Allstate Power Vac Environmental Services in Rahway, N.J.

Worker electrocuted, two injured in Hobgood

HOBGOOD, NC – A man was electrocuted, and two others were injured Tuesday while working on a sewer project.

It happened around 2:30 p.m. at the site of Hobgood's sewer collection system project, according to a town press release.

Manuel Sanchez, 26, of Durham was pronounced dead at Our Community Hospital in Scotland Neck. He worked for Currin Construction Co. of Creedmoor, said Heather Crews, a spokeswoman for the N.C. Department of Labor.

The other victims, Bryan Howard, 27, of Cary and Adolfo Martinez Rojan, 29, of Durham, worked for Donald Young Construction Co. Inc. in Durham. They were taken to Heritage Hospital in Tarboro. Their conditions were unavailable at presstime, but the press release states one of the men was released.

"They were (digging) under the road to put in some new piping, and some part of their drilling machine came in contact with overhead electrical lines," Crews said.

Many grieve for officer killed in line of duty

MERRITT ISLAND, FL -- With the stately chords of "Amazing Grace" echoing in the church sanctuary, high school-age Shane Ross leaned forward and stared at his mother's flag-draped coffin as his father comforted him.

It was one moment of grief out of many -- as hundreds of law enforcement officers, friends and family members turned out to say goodbye to Sgt. Lucille Ross of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

The veteran forensic artist and crime scene investigator died Friday after a traffic accident on Interstate 95 on the way to the scene of an apparent suicide.

Accident at plant claims life of local man

ABINGDON, VA – Melissa Crabtree received a bonus check in the mail Wednesday from her husband’s employer as a reward for his plant’s strong safety record.

Ironically, her husband died at work a day earlier when a machine crushed his skull.

"I still don’t know what happened," she said Wednesday evening between sobs. "I don’t know what I’m going to do."

Steve Crabtree, 34, worked as a manager for Mesa Industries, a High Point, N.C.-based firm that operates a plant at Mid-Mountain Foods’ distribution warehouse.

Mesa makes bottles that are filled with spring water by Misty Mountain Spring Water Co., also housed at Mid-Mountain. K-VA-T Food Stores, the Food City grocery chain’s parent company, owns and operates Mid-Mountain.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office filed a report on the incident but was not conducting an investigation of it, said Sheriff Fred Newman.

A company employee called Melissa Crabtree on Tuesday and told her that her husband had been in an accident and airlifted to Johnston Memorial Hospital.

When she arrived at the hospital, those in the emergency room moved out the way like "they knew who I was," she said.

She continued asking what happened to her husband until someone told her he didn’t make it out of the plant alive, she said. He could have slipped and fallen or even blacked out to get caught in the machine, but no one knew exactly how he died, his wife said.

Man dies from injuries in wreck

TAMPA, FL - A Dade City sanitation truck worker died from injuries he sustained in an automobile accident last week in Hernando County, officials said Tuesday.
Victor Pates, 23, of Dade City was flown to a Tampa hospital last Monday. A spokesman for the medical examiner's office in Tampa said Tuesday that Pates died from his injuries on Saturday.

According to a Hernando County Sheriff's Office accident report, Pates was a passenger in a 2001 International sanitation truck, driven by Tavaris Marquette Elliott, 26, also of Dade City.

Central Carting Disposal, Inc. owned the sanitation truck, the report said.

OSHA investigates Granville greenhouse

GRANVILLE, IL - Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators spent two days at Mid-American Growers in Granville after an employee seriously burned in an Aug. 24 accident succumbed to his injuries last week.

Vernon Mecagni, 43, of Granville died Oct. 6 at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago as a result of "thermal burns," a Cook County medical examiner determined. He also found the death to be accidental.

Fall at work claims Herminie man

A construction worker from Herminie was killed yesterday when he fell 40 feet from a scissor-lift at a Dick's Sporting Goods warehouse.

Westmoreland County Coroner Ken Bacha said Jeremy Quinn, 30, of Sewickley Street, was using his foot to kick a bracket into a wall while leaning against the rails of the lift. The rail gave way, and Quinn fell onto a concrete floor.

Franklin Parish Police Officer Killed

An east Louisiana town is mourning the loss of one of its law enforcement official after he was shot and killed in the line of duty.

It happened Sunday morning in the town of Wisner. That`s in Franklin Parish.

Assistant Police Chief Bill Linder, a veteran law enforcement officer, was responding to a burglary at a residence when he walked up on the burglary suspect, Ray Bingham.

At some point during the confrontation, Officer Linder was shot.He was transported to Franklin Parish Medical Center where he later died. Bingham was taken into custody.

The investigation continues.

Frackville street worker killed

FRACKVILLE, PA — A Frackville Borough worker was killed Monday morning after being struck by a vehicle just north of the borough line.

Ronald Antalosky, of 707 W. Pine St., Frackville, was fatally injured in the accident along Route 61 (West Oak Street), Butler Township police reported.

According to police, Antalosky was working along the road near the area of Frackville’s sewage treatment facility at about 10:30 a.m. when he was struck by a vehicle driven by Tanya Teijaro, of 343 S. Middle St., Frackville.

Student killed in grinder accident

Tucson, AZ - A UA student was killed Sunday in a birdseed grinder accident at his workplace.

Joshua Morgan, an agricultural education junior, died after being trapped inside the machine at a mill in Arizona Feeds Country Store on 4743 North Highway Drive, east of Interstate 10 near West Ruthrauff Road.

Morgan, 20, was cleaning the birdseed grinder, a rotary machine which mixes and bags pet food, when it accidentally turned on. According to police reports, Morgan was sucked inside and killed instantly. The milling machine is more than twice the height of an average adult, Heiden said.