Sunday, February 22, 2004

The Weekly Toll

5 Missing as Supply Boat Sinks

VENICE, La. - The Mississippi River remained closed Sunday while dive, boat and air crews began a second day of searching for the crew of a supply boat which sank after hitting a container ship early Saturday.

The 178-foot offshore supply boat Lee III and the 534-foot container ship Zim Mexico III collided in the fog early Saturday near the mouth of the river, in the Southwest Pass seven miles south of Pilottown, the Coast Guard said.

The smaller vessel sank. The missing crew members were identified as Joseph Brown, 44, of Vidor, Texas; Lawrence Glass, 65, of Mobile, Ala.; Daniel Lopez, 31, of Port Arthur, Texas; Ramon Norwood, 27, of Galveston, Texas; and Baldemar Villerreal, 54, of Lake Jackson, Texas.

Pepco Worker Dies From Burns

Washington (AP) - A Pepco worker has died of severe burns he suffered in a fire at a Northeast D.C. substation.

Pepco spokeswoman Debbie Jarvis says the unidentified man suffered third-degree burns over 90 percent of his body in Friday's night's fire. He died Saturday afternoon at Washington Hospital Center.

D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Alan Etter says the man was working inside the building in the 3200 block of Benning Road in Northeast when he touched a live electrical feeder line.

Sioux Falls school worker dies in fall

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A custodian at a Sioux Falls elementary school died Friday after he was injured in a fall.

Tommy Metli, 37, of Sioux Falls, was changing a light bulb Thursday in the lobby of Garfield Elementary School when he fell from a 10-foot ladder and was knocked unconscious, school officials said. He was taken to a Sioux Falls hospital where he died on Friday.

"What we think happened is the light bulb broke in his hand," said Jack Keegan, superintendent of the Sioux Falls School District. "He may have flinched and fell off the ladder."

Keegan said Metli was following procedures and had placed the ladder on a rubber mat so it wouldn't slip.

Two Workers Killed in N.M. Train Crash

CARRIZOZO, N.M. - Two workers were killed when the freight train they were on hit another train in southern New Mexico on Saturday, officials said.

An eastbound Union Pacific train carrying automobiles swiped the side of a train carrying grain as it moved onto a side track, said UP spokesman John Bromley.

The two men, whose names were not released, were on the Union Pacific train, he said.

N.Y. McWane worker dies in fall; officials investigating

A worker in McWane Inc.'s New York foundry died Thursday after the employee fell onto machinery, the Birmingham-based company said.

Timothy Blow, 45, died at the scene, McWane President Ruffner Page said. Details of the circumstances leading to the death were unavailable pending government investigations, Page said.

The death occurred at Elmira-based Kennedy Valve, a fire hydrant maker. It is the 10th at McWane plants since 1995 and the first in four years.

Five Injured in Scaffolding Collapse

SUGARCREEK TWP., Ohio -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) returned Friday to the scene of a construction accident in Sugarcreek Township.

Thursday, five workers fell more than 20 feet, when scaffolding collapsed at the site of a new Target store on Feedwire Road.

One worker is listed in critical condition and another in serious condition at Miami Valley Hospital. Three other workers suffered minor injuries.

One worker killed, three injured in landfill gas leak

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. - An Ohio man was killed and three other workers were sickened Thursday when overcome by methane gas from a seepage line at a landfill.

Kenny R. Warne, 32, of Cambridge, Ohio, was pronounced dead at Raulerson Hospital, the Okeechobee County sheriff's office said.

Billy Seaborn, 30, of Cambridge, Ohio; Troy Diloreci, 31, of Wintersville, Ohio; and Dana Garno, 36, of Bowling Green, Ohio, were hospitalized in stable condition, The Daily Okeechobee News reported.

"It was a freak accident," said Jeff Sabin, government affairs director for Waste Management, which owns the Okeechobee County Landfill.

Concrete slab crushes man

SEBASTIAN, FL -- A worker from a Jacksonville concrete company was killed Thursday afternoon when he was hit by a 2.5 ton concrete slab while working on a new hotel, Sebastian police said.

Rusty Kirk, 45, of Satsuma, died when he was hit by a concrete slab he had been helping to steer onto the second-floor of the future Best Western Sebastian Hotel and Suites, in the 1600 block of U.S. 1 near Davis Street.

A crane had been toting the 2.5-ton slab, which Kirk and another worker stood on top of while using long poles to help guide it down onto the second floor, police said.

But the slab started tilting and, while one worker jumped off safely, Kirk fell off and the slab landed on him, killing him instantly, police said.


Officials from OSHA arrived at the site Friday morning and determined there was "no real reason not to continue" construction of the 54-room, three-story hotel, Marcinik said.

Officials from OSHA still want to review Marcinik's police report, expected Monday, as well as records on safety meetings and personnel of Gate Concrete Products, Marcinik said.

But, "It appears it was just an unfortunate accident," he said

Yeah, come on, let's move along folks, nothing to see here. Just an unfortunate accident.

Postal worker dies after crashing mail truck in Hollywood

A postal worker died in Hollywood, FL, today after he crashed his mail truck into a cement pillar and a tree.

The 52-year-old man, whose name was not released, may have suffered a heart attack, seizure, or other medical problem before the accident, said Hollywood Police Capt. Tony Rode. He was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital, where he died shortly after arrival.

Construction zones turn deadly for two Houstonians

HARRIS COUNTY -- A growing number of people have been killed in work zones, making road construction safety a concern.

Flags are at half-staff at the precinct four Constable's office after deputy Frank "Scotty" Claborn was killed working an extra job.

Little was left of the car he was using to protect a work crew setting out cones on the Sam Houston Tollway.

A driver, allegedly under the influence of alcohol and speeding, rear-ended the deputy.

"Our emergency equipment can often times be a beacon and drivers will focus in on that red light and travel right to it," said Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Ron Hickman.

Less than 10 hours after deputy Claborn died, a construction worker was killed in a work zone on state Highway 288.

A construction worker was killed in a work zone Thursday on Highway 288.
Police said the victim never had a chance.

A driver crossed the yellow line and slammed into him, as a crew was preparing to block off a lane with construction cones.

Fireman killed in bar fire

DIAMOND, Mo. - A Carthage firefighter killed while assisting another department battle a fire at a southwest Missouri bar likely died when the building's roof collapsed, officials said.

Steve Fierro, 40, of Carthage, died Wednesday. He was among several Carthage firefighters who rushed to Bronc Busters Bar near Diamond to assist that town's department put out the blaze.


The air tank and protective equipment used by Carthage firefighter Steve Fierro, 40, have been sent to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said John Cooper, Carthage fire chief.

The equipment apparently will be checked for defects and malfunctions, and for signs of any other factors that could have contributed to the death.

The tank had been tested recently and was found to contain air, he said.

Newton County Coroner Mark Bridges said initial tests show that Fierro died of smoke inhalation.

Window Cleaner Dies Of Injuries

WINDSOR LOCKS -- A man who fell from a ladder while cleaning windows at Bradley International Airport last week has died from his injuries.

Jan Dziubasik, 57, of West Hartford, an employee of Capitol Cleaning Co., had been working about 15 to 20 feet up outside the ground floor level of Terminal B when he fell to some stairs below, airport officials said. He was taken to Hartford Hospital by emergency helicopter.

OSHA Investigating Fatal Construction Accident

According to police, 43-year-old Leonard Powers was walking across an overpass that was under construction when he fell.

It was Jacksonville's first fatal fall of the year at a construction site.

Powers, who was a foreman, was not wearing a harness according to police.

Leonard Powers worked for Hal Jones Contractor of Jacksonville.

Man Crushed By Bulldozer

KANNAPOLIS, NC -- Authorities have identified a man who was crushed under a bulldozer Tuesday at a work site behind Stanley Works on N.C. 73. But they don't know why it happened.

Joe Clifton Herron, 37, of Denver, was operating the bulldozer when the accident occurred around 4 p.m., said Kannapolis Police Capt. Woody Chavis. He apparently fell off and was run over by the heavy machinery.

"We don't really know exactly how it happened, because nobody witnessed it," Chavis said.

A co-worker of Herron's saw the empty, moving bulldozer and ran over to stop it. When he got the bulldozer stopped, the co-worker saw Herron lying beneath it, Chavis said.

Herron worked for Earnhardt Grading Inc. of Huntersville. More here.

Teen Killed in Construction Accident

Stephen Rutherford, 19, died Tuesday morning from head injuries at Saint Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield. He had been flown to the hospital Saturday afternoon from a construction site in the town of Strongs Prairie in Adams County, according to the Adams County Sheriff's Department.

Rutherford had been working for the Plainfield-based Brewer Concrete since January.

Rutherford had taken a wall form from a rack, and he was pushed to the ground when the rest of the wall forms fell on him, said Brewer, who was at the construction site Saturday when the accident occurred. Rutherford was struck in the head by an object as he fell, he said.

More here.

Mill worker crushed between giant rolls of paper

Houston - An employee was killed at a Pasadena paper plant Tuesday when he was accidentally crushed between two large paper rolls weighing 35 tons each, authorities said.

Jimmy Bailey, 34, of Pasadena, was killed in the mishap, which happened around 5:30 p.m. at the Pasadena Paper Company in the 100 block of North Shaver, according to Harris County sheriff's deputies.

Witnesses reported a crane operator released a large roll of paper along a rack, causing a chain reaction just before Bailey was crushed.

1 killed, 1 critically wounded in failed armored car heist
Follows Shooting of 2 Police Officers

DETROIT -- An armored car employee was killed and his partner was critically wounded during an attempted robbery early this morning at a Comerica Bank branch.

Cmdr. Craig Schwartz, head of the Major Crimes Section, said Guardian armored car employee Jerald Kikkos, 36, of Harrison Township was killed in the shooting about 3:25 a.m. and his partner, Tommie Scott, 29, of Detroit, was critically wounded by the robber who apparently had been waiting for them.

The two men, carrying empty money bags, were going to service the automatic teller machine

The fatal shooting comes just two days after two Detroit Police officers were shot to death during a traffic stop

Four killed in crash

(Honolulu-AP) -- Honolulu police say two cars may have been racing before they crashed into a flatbed truck on the H-One Freeway early today, killing four people and injuring two others.

Police say one of the two cars crashed into the truck owned by a company contracted by the state Department of Transportation to help open the freeway's Zipper lane every weekday morning. That car was wedged under the truck, which burst into flames. The second car came to rest against the first car.

Police said the two people in the first car were burned beyond recognition. Also killed were a passenger in the truck and the driver of the second car. The passenger in the truck was identified by family members as Melvin Salangdron of Wahiawa.

More here.

CVS Clerk Killed Trying To Stop Shoplifter

BOSTON -- Investigators worked with witnesses Tuesday to try to find the person responsible of a fatal stabbing that left an 18-year-old CVS Pharmacy store clerk dead.

Christian Giambrone, of Jamaica Plain, was stabbed to death, and another employee was injured outside the store on Brookline Avenue when they tried to apprehend a shoplifter Monday night.

Man Killed in Plant Accident

Des Moines, February 16th, 2004 -- An update on a deadly accident at a metro packing plant.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident. It happened at Pine Ridge Farms on the east side of Des Moines yesterday.

The company was formerly known as the Iowa Packing Plant.

Investigators say Raul Rojas was checking a grinder to make sure it was working when he fell and became trapped.

Just last month, Pine Ridge Farms bought the plant from Iowa Packing. Hundreds of workers were laid off. The new company only hired back enough workers to operate the plant at sixty percent capacity.


Equipment overturns at F&P America

TROY -- A maintenance worker died Thursday after a scissor lift he was operating toppled over on the grounds of an automotive parts manufacturer.

Neale Schneider Jr., 30, of Troy had been working on a light that illuminates an access road outside F&P America, 2101 Corporate Drive, when the lift overturned into an embankment just before 11 a.m., Troy police Sgt. Chris Anderson said. Schneider fell about 30 feet.

Santa Paula man killed at area ranch after water pipe explodes

A Santa Paula, CA man died shortly after a water pipe he was trying to fix exploded, according to the Ventura County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office spokesman.

Jose Luis Huizar, 37, was killed Friday after he and two co-workers from Somis Pacific Ag Management, Inc. attempted to fix a broken 4 1/2 inch water pipe on Pepper Tree Canyon Road, two miles north of Foothill Drive in Santa Paula.

Local Worker Killed By Ice

The occupational safety and health administration is investigating the death of a Weirton man killed while on the job...

Yesterday around 10 am, 38 year old Michael Mackey was struck by a falling ice while working on a waste treatment plant at Appleton Papers Spring Mill located in Blair County, Pennsylvania.

Recycling-yard death is probed

McCOOK, IL -- Federal officials Wednesday were investigating the death of a Chicago man who fell off a piece of machinery at a McCook recycling yard.

Victorino Cruz, 38, was working atop a compactor container Monday at Crown Recycling and Waste Management, 8475 W. 53rd St., when he fell, said Vincent Blakemore, assistant area director for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Track worker killed during race

DAYTONA BEACH - The dangers of racing struck again at Daytona International Speedway.

During a caution of the IPOWERacing 150 Dash sports car race Sunday afternoon, track crew supervisor Roy H. Weaver III, 44, was struck by a car going 100 mph and driven by paraplegic Ray Paprota. Weaver died at the scene, track spokesman David Talley said. More here.

OSHA investigating death of Pittsgrove tree trimmer

WASHINGTON TWP., NJ -- The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation into the circumstances that led to the on-the-job death of a 48-year-old Salem County man here Sunday.

Joseph Chester, 48, of Pittsgrove, was approximately 25 feet up in a tree and was struck in the head after he cut through a large branch at a residential home on Pollux Court in the Birches West development late Sunday morning, police and fire department reports said.

Although two co-workers were on the ground at the time of the accident and held a rope that was tied to the branch Chester was cutting, the branch fell toward him instead of falling away from his body. The branch struck Chester on the head, police said, causing severe neck injury.

Mill worker dies in Banks

BANKS -- A 24-year-old millworker died Monday in a Banks Lumber Mill accident. The state Occupational Safety and Health Division will investigate.

According to witnesses, Cory Kepple of Vernonia was working with logs about to go through the barker when he got pinned under the press rolls. He was pronounced dead at the scene.