Friday, September 30, 2005

Doing Society's Dirty (and Dangerous) Work

I spend a lot of time in this blog talking about workers who get killed in trench collapses, falls off buildings and chemical plant explosions.

Lost in the "drama" of these fatalities are the hazards that Public employees do some of the most unpleasant, but necessary jobs that the citizens of this country demand to live the life they've become accustomed to. And they face hazards that most of us don't want to think about.

And for all that they get lousy pay.

Take social workers, for example:
Social work can be a risky business.

In February, an angry mother in Woburn slammed a door into a social worker's face during a home visit. In April, a Fitchburg woman threw a potted plant at a social worker's head. In July, a social worker in Lowell was almost run down by a pickup driven by a disgruntled former client.

And overshadowing all of these recent reports is the slaying of Linda Silva, a Department of Social Services worker who was murdered in 1996 by a father who had lost custody of his children.

State social workers say these examples show the potential dangers they face every day, and because of those hazards, they deserve better retirement benefits.
SEIU Local 509 which represents Department of Social Services workers in Massachusetts is pushing for a bill that put them into a higher-paying category of the state retirement system along with employees that include mental health hospital attendants, county elevator maintenance men, municipal electricians, juvenile probation officers, some correction officers, and court officers. The change would allow them to retire a few years earlier and receive a higher pension.
Summer Twyman was the social worker who had a door slammed on her face in February. She was out of work for months. Her injuries included a concussion and nerve damage. While she was out of work, she used up her sick time and received less pay. She also had to cover some medical expenses.

Twyman, 24, returned to her job at the DSS office in Cambridge in June, while following up with physicians and her neurologist.

"I've been out to many homes with police officers during removals. It's because of those situations [police and probation officers] get those benefits . . . we are in those same homes," she said.

"We should get equal benefits," Twyman said.
Meanwhile, let's look at probation officers in Los Angeles who staged a sick-out to protest dangerous working conditions, inadequate staffing and compensation that falls short of what other counties pay.
Some at the demonstration said they had been attacked while transporting repeat juvenile offenders. Others said they had been shot at — while armed only with pepper spray and a cellphone — while trying to visit probationers.

"They want us to go out and do proactive probation work, but they don't want to compensate us properly for the risks we're taking," said Aldin Tatley, who works with a unit of armed probation officers that checks on violent gang members in Lancaster, Palmdale and Altadena. "I have two kids. I want to go home at night."
AFSCME Local 685, which represents 400 Los Angeles County probation officers, has been negotiating a new contract with the county for three years. Almost 1000 called in sick Tuesday and 500 showed up for a rally to demand that the county return to the bargaining table.

Aside from poorly paying dangerous jobs, you may have noticed one advantage these workers have that most American workers don't have: unions. That means the ability to lobby for legislation, to stage collective work actions and stage demonstrations that build attention and support for their issues.

It's a lesson that more workers in this country should be paying attention to.

The Environment: Something Happening Here. What It Is Is All Too Clear

Now I haven't read the full articles yet, but these are some of the headlines from the Bureau of National Affairs Environment Reporter that came across my desk today.

House Votes To Overhaul Key Provisions of Endangered Species Act

House Energy Committee Approves Barton Bill to Construct More Refineries

House Resources Backs Drilling in Arctic, Removes Offshore Drilling Bans

EPA drafts legislation to grant broad power to waive Clean Air Act rules

Bill to help hurricane-damaged refineries would change enforcement program

Bush asks EPA to leave waivers in place

Domenici to target offshore drilling bans

House Resources Committee approves ANWR drilling, removes all offshore bans for natural gas

Inhofe introduces bill to encourage building of oil refineries

Official says agency's regulatory policies will reduce burdens on manufacturers

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Choices, Choices For Petroleum Refiners: More Profit Or More Safety?

With eight refineries still shut down as a result of Hurricane Rita and four still down as a result of Katrina, translating into about 20% of U.S. refining capacity, American refiners are facing some tough decisions, according to the Wall St. Journal:
With profit margins soaring and political pressure building to increase gasoline output, the nation's refiners face a dilemma as their fall maintenance season nears.

Going ahead with the maintenance schedule would mean shutting down refinery production, adding to the shortfalls caused by hurricanes Rita and Katrina, and keeping gasoline supplies tight and prices high. But postponing maintenance, needed to keep their refineries in top running condition, could increase the chance of accidents, potentially disrupting even more production.
...disrupting production and, um, also possibly killing a few workers.

But there are bigger things to worry about than disrupted production and dead workers:
There is ample incentive for refiners to get their plants going again as quickly as possible, and to keep them going. In a report Tuesday, Morgan Stanley predicted that Gulf Coast refining profit margins -- the gross difference between what a refiner pays for a barrel of oil and the amount it fetches for refined products -- would hit $10.50 in 2006, up 13.5% over this year and more than double 2003 margins.

Meanwhile, soaring gasoline prices are fueling rumors that refiners are somehow manipulating the market. Tuesday, Democratic senators called on the Senate Commerce Committee to investigate allegations of price gouging in what they said was an effort to "hold oil companies accountable for rising gas prices." The average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline is $2.80, according to the Energy Information Administration, up nearly 89 cents from this time last year.
But after last week's record fine against BP Amoco for an explosion that killed 15 workers, the cost of these incidents can't even escape the Journal's notice:
Last week, BP PLC agreed to pay workplace-safety regulators $21.4 million in fines for safety violations tied to a deadly March 23 explosion at an octane-boosting processing unit at its Texas City, Texas, plant. Investigators said BP officials were aware that repairs were necessary but had opted to delay them until after the unit's start-up. BP agreed to pay the fines without admitting to the alleged violations.

"You've got to weigh the economic benefits and the pressure to produce against what's prudent and safe," said Doug MacIntyre, an analyst with the EIA.
BP Texas City, however, seems to have learned its lesson:
Officials with BP said Tuesday that the refinery would take advantage of a total refinery shutdown prompted by the Hurricane Rita evacuation to make some needed repairs and retooling of units within the facility. In all, BP’s Texas City refinery has 29 units, five of which were already down following a series of incidents including the March 23 blasts that killed 15 people and injured more than 170.
BP's Texas City refinery produces 3 percent of U.S. gasoline.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

New Jersey Invites Worker Participation In Chemical Plant Inspections

Workers and the citizens of New Jersey who are concerned about the hazards of chemical plants won a victory this week.

The state of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued an administrative order Monday allowing workers to participate in DEP inspections, investigations or audits of chemical facilities where workers can help identify hazards, including those that might lead to catastrophic chemical incidents, whether from industrial accidents or terrorist acts.
"Greater participation by workers to identify and resolve potential threats involving the use of hazardous chemicals in the industrial process will make neighborhoods safer and is good business policy," said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. "We will work with New Jersey businesses to ensure this initiative improves risk prevention plans for each facility."
The regulations, the first in the country, are based on a little known section of the Clean Air Act which gives workers and their representatives the same rights to participate in inspections conducted by EPA or the Chemical Safety Board as are provided to workers in the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The OSHAct allows employees' "designated representatives" (unions) to accompany OSHA inspectors during their inspections. New Jersey will now allow the designated union representative to participate in an inspection or investigation and to participate in meetings with management about the inspection. Employees and their union representatives will be notified prior to DEP inspections.

The New Jersey Work Environment Council was pleased with the DEP order:
“We applaud the DEP for taking this groundbreaking action to protect workers, communities and the environment," said Rick Engler, Director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC), a coalition of 70 labor unions and environmental organizations that advocates for safe, secure jobs and a healthy, sustainable environment. "Workers are uniquely positioned to point out chemical hazards to DEP inspectors – and many of these hazards have the potential to cause a chemical disaster."

Engler noted there are seven facilities in New Jersey where a worst-case toxic release could harm more than a million residents – and 33 where such a release could harm more than 10,000 residents.
Industry, on the other hand, was not pleased to see more worker participation:

Hal Bozarth of the Chemistry Council of New Jersey, an industry group, said Campbell should have held public hearings on the worker participation plan.

"I feel like we've been shut out of a very important process, since we care deeply about worker safety," Bozarth said. "I question what this is about. Are we that close to November?"

The order applies to inspections at industrial facilities covered under New Jersey's Toxic Catastrophe Prevention Act (TCPA). TCPA is the New Jersey version of EPA's Risk Management Program which requires facilities that use designated quantities of certain highly hazardous chemicals to develop risk management plans that analyze on-site and off site vulnerabilities, develop emergency response plans and confer with the surrounding community. The New Jersey TCPA also requires facilities to drill their emergency response plans each year with employee participation and requires facilities to evaluate state of the art technologies every five years to reduce the risk of an accident and implement this technology if cost effective.

Meanwhile, DEP also announced that it was abandoning a secret pact that would have let industry groups help set chemical plant security standards without the input of the unions that represent workers at the plants. The pact had generated major opposition from New Jersey unions and environmental groups when it was announced last February. Although the details of the pact were never revealed, Bozarth said that it committed the chemical facilities in the state to comply with "Responsible Care" guidelines developed by the American Chemistry Council which, an association representing the chemical industry.

Engler and labor activists had criticized the pact, calling for public hearings on the precautions that chemical facilities should take to ensure their security from terrorism. The Governor announced that he intended to hold public hearings.

Bozarth said that abandonment of the pact was "a shame."

New Orleans: Your Tax Cuts At Work

One of my earliest memories is listening to my mother on the phone calling lists of strangers asking them to vote for initiatives that would sell bonds or raise taxes for the public schools. It seems almost quaint now, actually campaigning for a tax increase! It's become almost an eternal truth among many (most) in this country that taxes are bad, government is bad, and the idea of a politician (even a Democrat) campaigning for a tax increase -- no matter how badly its needed -- rates at about as popular as campaigning for child pornography.

I have to explain to my kids when they get their first paychecks what all those deductions are for. But that I can understand. They're kids, not too far beyond believing that ATMs dispense free money.

So if you're one of those (seemingly vanishing) people who wonder how the world has gotten so crazy, how millions are left without medical care, without decent schools, without heat in the winter, drowing (literally) in a crumbling infrastructure -- while Congress hands out huge tax cut after tax cut for those least in need...

For those of you who watch Bush admistration cut taxes for the wealthy and then say we can't afford to fund a basic social needs or maintain a minimum safety net and are reminded of the kid who has killed his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he's an this article by my favorite political analyst and blogger David Sirota in In These Times.
Politicians love to put signs up next to the projects they created saying “your tax dollars at work.” The only way for the United States to have the desperately needed debate over budget priorities is if Democrats find the courage to plant a figurative sign in New Orleans’ flood-drenched streets that says “your tax cuts at work.” Then, and only then, will America’s tax debate transform from a theoretical one that features terrific-sounding promises into a concrete one that highlights the very real consequences of a political system that seeks only to enrich the already rich, no matter what the cost to society.

So sure, we can drown government in a bathtup, or we can sell it all to Halliburton, but before we let that happen, we need to make sure that people know the cost.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Sopranos As Workplace Safety Hazards

The New York Daily News has run a 3-part series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, editorial) about Mafia domination of the construction business in the New York area and the havoc it wreaks on traffic, building quality, budgets and government.

The whole exposé makes for fascinating reading right out a real-life Sopranos episode, but of particular interest to readers of Confined Space is Part 3, Blood on their hands! which covers the effect of Mafia influence on workplace safety.
By late 2001, the city had already received numerous complaints about unsafe conditions from both workers and neighbors at a job site at the Parkwest Apartments at 323 W. 96th St.

One worker told investigators he'd left after a week because he felt "that the safety issues on the job exposed him to injury," court records state.

At 7:30 a.m. the Tuesday after Thanksgiving 2001, a 7,000-pound slab of precast concrete collapsed on top of 60-year-old carpenter Selma Erey as she prepared plywood safety covers at her workbench.

"She has a permanently disabling, very serious fracture to her foot, a compression fracture to her spine, and traumatic brain injury," said her attorney, Paul Hofmann. "She could have been killed."

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration shut down the job, and the city slapped the job's general contractor with proposed fines of $4,150.

A union shop steward found pervasive safety issues, including uncovered holes and the absence of safety cables, and registered his complaints. An OSHA inspector found bricks being hoisted over the heads of workers and the absence of safety netting, records show.

That's when the mob stepped in, investigators say.

Richard Gotti - a brother of the late mob boss John Gotti - was a no-show worker for Silo Construction, a subcontractor at the site, according to a report by Walter Mack, an investigator appointed by a judge to monitor the carpenter's union.

In sworn testimony, District Council Carpenters shop steward Peter O'Keefe told Mack that Gotti approached him at the site in early 2002 and warned him to stop reporting safety problems to the union.

Raising his voice and jabbing a finger into O'Keefe's chest, according to O'Keefe, Gotti told him that if he made any more reports, it would be O'Keefe who'd be having safety problems.

Records show that O'Keefe, who told investigators he "did not sleep well for a few nights," stopped complaining.
The article also suggests that Mafia pressure may influence OSHA's fines:
On a windy May morning in 2000, Antonio Pedro, 41, a nonunion Yonkers employee, was blown off a catwalk on the Manhattan Bridge and plunged to his death in the East River.

Yonkers Contracting was cited for allowing Pedro to work without a harness and for not training him properly.

OSHA inspectors proposed fines totalling $12,500 for three serious violations, but settled for only $1,500.
Mafia influence? Maybe, but from my experience, OSHA is perfectly able to impose insignificant citations all by itself.

ILO: 2.2 Million Die Each Year of Work-related Accidents and Diseases

The International Labor Organization reports that over 2.2 million workers die each year of work-related accidents and injuries -- and that number may be significantly underestimated.
While the number of work-related illnesses and deaths has lessened somewhat in the industrialized countries, the ILO report said the number of accidents - in particular fatal accidents - appear to be increasing, particularly in some Asian countries due to poor reporting, rapid development and strong competitive pressures of globalization.

"Occupational safety and health is vital to the dignity of work", said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. "Still, every day, on average, some 5,000 or more women and men around the world lose their lives because of work-related accidents and illness. Decent Work must be safe work, and we are a long way from achieving that goal."

What's more, the ILO report, entitled Decent Work - Safe Work, ILO Introductory Report to the XVIIth World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, Orlando, USA, also warns that work-related malaria and other communicable diseases as well as cancers caused by hazardous substances are taking a huge toll, mostly in the developing world. The majority of the global workforce lacks legal or preventive safety or health measures, accident or illness compensation and has no access to occupational health services.
Underestimating workplace injuries and fatalities is critical, particularly in developing countries:
The ILO report said reporting systems and coverage of occupational safety and health in many developing countries are poor and in some cases deteriorating. For example, India reports 222 fatal accidents while the Czech Republic, which has a working population of about 1 per cent of India, reports 231, the ILO said, adding that it has estimated the true number of fatal accidents in India at 40,000. The report said such statistics suggested that only a fraction of the real toll of work-related death and disease is covered in a number of developing countries.
The ILO also reports that:
  • Hazardous substances cause the deaths of an estimated 440,000 workers each year
  • While work-related diseases are the main problem in industrialized countries, accident hazards are more prevalent in the developing economies where workers are frequently dying in mishaps that occur in such sectors as mining, construction and agriculture. In the industrialized countries
  • Younger workers (age 15-24) are more likely to suffer non-fatal occupational accidents than their older colleagues
  • Workers over the age of 55 appear to be more likely to suffer fatal accidents and ill-health than others.
  • Women suffer much more than men when it comes to work-related communicable diseases, such as agriculture-related malaria and bacterial and viral infections as well as musculo-skeletal disorders.
  • Men tend to die as a result of accidents, lung diseases and work-related cancers, such as those caused by asbestos.
  • Newly emerging problems such as psychosocial factors, violence, the effects of alcohol and drugs, stress, smoking and HIV/AIDS are rapidly leading to increased morbidity and mortality worldwide.
  • Most workers in the world are not covered by legal preventive measures and will never receive compensation in case of accidents and diseases and most have never seen an occupational doctor or a labour inspector.
  • This year, some 115 countries organized numerous national activities on 28 April to mark World Day for Safety and Health at Work which was launched by the ILO to build on the original trade union observance of this day as the International Day for the Commemoration of Dead and Injured Workers.

News That Isn't News: Hispanic Injuries Under-reported

Survey finds more injuries among Hispanics than reported to OSHA

Well, that's certainly a surprise!

Earlier this month, I wrote a response to a Washington Post column by J. Patrick Boyle, the president of the American Meat Institute, who was criticizing a previous Post column about the plight of meatpacking and poultry workers. In that article, Boyle argued that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 67 percent decline in total injuries and illnesses since 1990. I pointed out the massive underreporting of injuries and illnesses that had been reported.

Now that underreporting has been confirmed in a study by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, working with Centro Latino of Caldwell County
A survey of Hispanic poultry workers in six Western North Carolina counties shows a high rate of injuries, one that is significantly higher than the number reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The survey of 200 workers found that in the month prior, 60 percent said they had work-related problems with symptoms of respiratory illnesses, skin conditions, injuries or pain to legs, feet, arms, hands, necks or backs. That compares with North Carolina's 9.4 percent injury and illness rate in 2003, based on numbers reported by the plants to OSHA and compiled by the Bureau of Labor.
Many of the problems suffered by the workers were painful disabling musculoskeletal injuries:
"Almost half of the workers reported pain in their hands or arms during the previous month, and one in five of those workers was unable to work for at least a day in the previous year because of the pain," she said.

Forty-seven percent reported poor or fair health.

The assembly-line work and the sheer volume of chickens processed contribute to repetitive-motion injuries.

The process starts with chicken catchers, almost always men, wading into poultry houses among thousands of birds, grabbing them up and putting them in cages for the ride to the plant.

At the plant, workers lift the chickens onto hooks. Men and women who cut and trim may make the same cutting motion up to 40,000 times a shift, according to the study. Floors are often slippery. Steam rises from the cleaning process that sprays hot water onto cold equipment. Workers who handle raw chicken in the damp environment often develop skin conditions.

Contaminants become airborne, resulting in respiratory illnesses.
And why he underreporting?
Researchers say that there are a number of reasons that workers may not report injuries. They might fear for job security or have a language barrier or not know they are entitled to workers' compensation.

Management has to decide whether an injury is work-related.

A cut or other accident might be easy to spot, but it takes a medical exam to diagnose a repetitive-motion injury from making the same cuts hundreds of thousands of times over months.
...and management generally doesn't exactly go out of their way to prove that a injury is work-related if they don't have to.

In addition to the workers working with "worker-advocacy groups and community agencies," the report recommends implementation of OSHA's 2004 ergonomics guidelines for poultry processing plants because there isn't an ergonomics regulations.

Seems to me that the fact that there are ergonomic guidelines instead of an enforceable standard is the problem, not the solution.

Monday, September 26, 2005

More On New Orleans' Toxic Threat To Workers, Citizens

A couple more articles on the possible contamination of the land and air of New Orleans and the effect it may have on citizens and recovery workers.

Wilma Subra, who has worked on several Superfund hazardous-waste sites and has served on advisory groups for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fears breathing problems caused by a combination of mold and oil from the flooded Murphy Oil Refinery
"Dust is blowing out of the restricted area, and the people being let back in … are breathing highly contaminated particulates," Subra said. "The environmental and health agencies should not have allowed the residents to go back in."

People are returning to homes covered in sediments contaminated by the oil spill, she said. Subra said she has seen "mold growing on walls, ceilings, fabrics, couches … everywhere."

"It is a double insult," she said. "The chemical insult from the sludge and biological insult from the mold."
Even some EPA staffers are not too confident about the health of workers or residents:
"We haven’t even done a damage assessment, let alone an environmental assessment," said Hugh Kaufman, senior policy analyst with the Environmental Protection Agency’s solid waste division.

Kaufman said that if federal, state and local governments had followed the Department of Homeland Security’s National Response Plan, agencies would have coordinated seamlessly to ensure public health and safety. "Obviously, that didn’t happen in terms of getting people out," he said, "and it’s not happening right now in terms of protecting the heroes."

According to EPA tests, the biological threats from the flood include elevated levels of E. coli bacteria and toxic mold. Contamination from industrial facilities pose a more troubling long-term concern, with more than 40 oil spills reported in Louisiana by the Coast Guard last week and thousands of chemical containers spotted bobbing in the region’s floodwaters. The oozing sediment that coats flood-impacted areas may yield an even greater danger in the coming months as the ground dries, releasing airborne contaminants like harmful organic gases and fuel vapors. The potential health effects range from allergic reactions to organ damage.
But, of course, the first response should be prevention:
The watchdog groups OMB Watch and National Environmental Trust have questioned the reliability of the EPA’s environmental sampling data – information that would factor heavily in worker safety determinations.

The released records show that the vast majority of water contaminants tested for have been detected at non-dangerous levels or not at all. However, environmental advocates suspect that the real damage is much deeper, noting that the 2003 EPA Toxic Release Inventory registers thousands of pounds of chemical waste churned out by local facilities. Meanwhile, a treated federal toxic site, the Agriculture Street Landfill, is currently stewed in floodwaters.

The environmental community is demanding that the government go beyond dispensing advice and mandate more public health research on Katrina’s environmental impacts and stronger protections for workers serving in the recovery effort.

Darryl Malek-Wiley, a New Orleans evacuee and Louisiana field organizer for the Sierra Club, said that the government should establish an organized system to track the long-term health effects on exposed New Orleans recovery workers. However, he said, considering that the government has haphazardly fanned refugees across the country, "If that’s the level of record keeping they have for workers, it’s going to be a disaster in the future."
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued a factsheet:Protect Yourself From Chemicals Released During a Natural Disaster

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Weekly Toll

This is the regular Confined Space listing of workers killed over the past two weeks. Because we didn't get some reports in on time, this week's also includes fatalities going back as far as mid-August. Keep in mind, however, that because this list is based on media reports, it only represents a minority of actual workplace deaths.

Trench collapse probed

BUENA VISTA, VA — The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry is conducting an investigation into what went wrong in a
trench collapse that killed two Buena Vista city employees Wednesday. The victims, Roger Coleman and David "Peewee" Carter, were installing a sewer line behind a commercial building under construction at Magnolia Avenue and 15th Street about 9 a.m. when the walls caved in, according to City Manager Scott Dadson.

Gaston man killed on Indiana highway

FRANKFORT, Ind. - More than one vehicle might have struck a North Carolina truck driver who was
killed while walking along Interstate 65 in the pre-dawn darkness Thursday, police said. Raymond Earl Davis, 65, of Gaston County was hit along the highway's northbound lanes near the Clinton-Boone county line about 20 miles southeast of Lafayette.

Missing Valley H-E-B worker found dead in the Rio Grande

BROWNSVILLE, TX — Right around the time family members and friends were crossing the border to distribute fliers in Matamoros about a missing loved one, Brownsville firefighters spotted a
body floating in the Rio Grande. It was Juan Carlos "Charlie" Ramos, a 24-year-old checkout manager at an H-E-B here who had been missing since Saturday morning. It wasn't the kind of news family members had expected to hear.

Construction worker dies in accident - Death is second in three months

Hillsborough, NC- A Hillsborough man was killed early Thursday morning while working near a campus construction site. According to University police reports, David Roy Phillips, 58, an employee of Chandler Concrete in Burlington, parked his concrete truck in the left lane of Pittsboro Street to check his load. He did not set the parking brake or close the driver’s side door. The
truck began to roll backwards, and the door caught Phillips, dragging him 65 feet, reports state. He died shortly after being pinned between the truck and a fence at the McCauley Street intersection. Paramedics made unsuccessful attempts to resuscitate Phillips, who had worked with the company for nine and a half years.

Holcombe man dies in industrial accident

Ladysmith, Wi -- A 19-year-old Holcombe man died after an apparent industrial accident in Ladysmith about 2 a.m. Wednesday. Harley J. Hattamer was found
trapped under two large bundles of lumber at Weather Shield Manufacturing Co. Ladysmith Police said Hattamer was extracted from the lumber and taken to Rusk County Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

OSHA investigating fatal accident

Glenview, IL - Investigators from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration are looking into the circumstances that left one worker dead and another injured as they worked on the new city parking garage Friday. The men, carpenters for Chicago-based W.E. O'Neil Construction Co., were working near the top of the new garage that is to reach 12 stories, said James A. Sikich, vice president for the company. The men were removing a preassembled concrete form called a gang form on the southwest core of the building, he said, when the form
fell to the sixth floor, the building's current height. Paramedics rushed the men to St. Francis Hospital, 355 Ridge Ave. Frank Meenaghan, 43, of Stickney, was pronounced dead of his injuries. Another worker, Juan Ramirez, 36, of Chicago, was treated and later released.


New York, NY -- After losing his job at a Brooklyn tile company, Nikolai Radchenko went back to his old workplace drunk and sat down beneath one of its trucks — then
died when it ran over him, police and colleagues said yesterday. Radchenko, 48, was fired on Tuesday from his job as a shipper for Merola Tile, an East New York firm that makes and markets household ceramic tiles, colleagues said. Later that evening, he went back to Merola, at 819 Williams Ave. "He wanted his job back; that's why he returned," said Mike Demitri, who makes deliveries to the firm.

Farmer dies in tractor accident

ANAMOSA, Iowa - An eastern Iowa dairy farmer has died of injuries suffered in a tractor accident. The Jones County sheriff's office says 39-year-old Eric Ulferts of rural Anamosa was injured on Thursday when his tractor, which was pulling a manure spreader, rolled and pinned him in a creek bed. Authorities say Ulferts was driving across the side of a hill when the
tractor lost traction, slid downhill and rolled. Ulferts was taken to a Cedar Rapids hospital, then transferred to University Hospitals in Iowa City. He died yesterday.

Motel Worker In Waldorf Shot, Killed

WALDORF, Md. -- Detectives with the Charles County Sheriff's Office are trying to figure out why an employee at a Days Inn was
shot and killed Friday afternoon near the motel's front desk. Someone walked into the motel in the 11300 block of Days Court just before 3 p.m., shot Jerry Alan Wills III, and then fled, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Kristen Adkins. Wills, 19, had moved to Waldorf in January from Chambersburg, Pa., she said.

Restaurant reopens after double murder- Patrons come out to support Frankie's owners

Chicago, IL - Frankie Santoro sat, a pained expression on his face, filling out shift schedules Saturday morning. Four names were missing — two employees dead, two others charged with killing them. Frankie's Beef & Pasta reopened Saturday, eight days after two workers at the popular Oak Lawn fast-food joint were
gunned down by an employee angry, a prosecutor said, over not being promoted to head fryer. Killed were head fryer Carlos Flores-Lopez, 27, of Alsip, and Jose Alberto Rodriguez, 21, of Worth. More than 1,000 people attended their wake Tuesday.

Construction worker killed on job identified

Ventura county, CA - Authorities have identified a man who was killed Thursday while working at a mall construction site in Simi Valley. Stephen Reitter, 46, of Long Beach, died after a
10-ton sewer pump truck he had been using rolled and drove over him about 12:45 p.m., police said.

Highway worker dies

Spirit Lake, IA - highway worker was killed Thursday afternoon in Spirit Lake, Iowa, when a
construction truck hit her as she directed traffic. Joyce Wachter, 49, of Akron, Iowa, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Spirit Lake police. The truck was owned by Rohlin Construction, which is working on a resurfacing project on Highways 9 and 71 in Spirit Lake. An investigation is continuing.

Victim of construction accident identified as Mesa man

SCOTTSDALE - A 23-year-old Mesa man has been identified as the worker killed Monday in a construction accident at Scottsdale's $250 million Waterfront project. David Junior Schmidt and another man were handling a 6-inch pipe at about 8 a.m. when Schmidt tumbled from a 6- 8-foot ladder, authorities said. A
180-pound pipe then fell and struck Schmidt in the head. He was taken to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn, where he died.

Worker Dies On Ship In Dry Dock

SEATTLE, WA -- A man working on a ship in dry dock at Harbor Island collapsed in a corridor and died Monday afternoon, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reported. The man
suffered a heart attack and collapsed on the 500-foot Stellar Star, firefighters said. The Seattle Fire Department's high-angle rescue team was first called to rescue the man and firefighters performed C.P.R. on him but he died at the scene.

Detroit Cab Driver Shot and Killed

Detroit, MI - A cab driver was shot and killed early Monday morning, and police are still searching for his killer. Investigators believe the shooting occurred around 1 a.m., in the area of Fenkell and the Southfield Service Drive. Police found Checker Cab #5832 smashed on the northbound side of the Southfield Freeway. Emergency crews initially believed the driver crashed through the fence along the service drive and landed on the freeway after speeding and losing control.But when the 52-year-old driver, Moses Hill from New Baltimore, was transported to the hospital, doctors found that he had been
shot several times.

Airborne tire strikes car; deputy sheriff killed

El Paso, TX, - A sheriff's deputy was killed early Saturday morning on Interstate 10 when t
he wheel of a pickup traveling in the opposite direction flew off and struck the officer's patrol car in what officials are calling a freak accident. Sgt. Ruben Orozco, 51, who was involved in the accident after leaving an assignment at the Sun Bowl, was a 26-year veteran of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. "This is a very difficult and emotional time for the family. It is also a day in which many hearts in the El Paso County Sheriff's Office are suffering," El Paso County Sheriff Leo Samaniego said in a statement. "My condolences are with the family."


New York, NY -- A worker at a Brooklyn storage yard was killed yesterday as he
tried to unload a massive concrete pipe off the back of a flatbed truck. Pedro Yaxon, 30, who came to the United States from Guatemala just eight months ago, was inside the pipe, preparing to attach a cable that would allow a crane operator to lift it off the flatbed. Suddenly, the cable tightened, pressing Yaxon's throat against the inside of the pipe. "It pressed right up against his neck," said a witness, who gave his name only as Barry.

The workers at the scene said the accident occurred during what was supposed to be a routine procedure at a company storage facility, near Hart Place and West 16 Street in Coney Island. The object being moved was a concrete dry well. Typically, the workers said, three cables are used to hoist dry wells, which are used for drainage and stand about three feet high and eight feet wide. The accident occurred, the workers added, as dry wells were being stacked on the back of a truck for delivery to a construction site.

A witness at a nearby auto body shop, who would identify himself only as Barry K., 23, said he heard screams and ran over to investigate.

''It sounded like someone was getting cut up, the way he was screaming,'' he said. ''What I saw for sure was the metal cable was on his neck, and I saw blood.''

Police are Searching for the Gunman

New York, NY - A livery cab driver and his brother were
shot and killed overnight. Now the hunt is on for the gunman. Eyewitness News reporter Ken Rosato is live at the scene with the latest. The two brothers were both livery cab drivers and one drove with the other for protection. Police say around one o'clock this morning the two brothers were dispatched to and area near South 9th Street and Central Avenue.

Three die in fiery I-75 crash at Micanopy

Gainesville, FL - A
fiery crash on Interstate 75 in Micanopy involving two semis and a minivan killed three people and snarled traffic for miles Thursday night. Wreckage from a white minivan and a tractor-trailer lay strewn about the interstate. One semi's cab was ripped apart with tires and parts of the cab laying dozens of feet away from each other. The minivan driven by an unidentified man blew a tire at about 10:15 p.m. on the northbound I-75 overpass at the Micanopy exit, said FHP spokesman Lt. Mike Burroughs. The minivan, which was traveling in the far left inside lane swerved across the interstate and sideswiped a Bobcat semi driven by an unidentified man who lost control of the semi, Burroughs said. The semi veered back across the northbound lanes, through the center guardrail and careened into the southbound lanes, slamming into a tractor-trailer carrying furniture, Burroughs said.

Trucker killed in forklift accident

Carlisle, PA - An out-of-state truck driver was killed Monday after he was run over by a forklift at a business in Middlesex. According to Dauphin County Coroner Graham Hetrick, George Renolds, 42, was delivering steel to Lane Enterprises off of Claremont Road, when he
walked behind a tractor-type forklift around 7:30 a.m. Renolds was flown to the Hershey Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, Hetrick says. The coroner says Renolds died of multiple injuries. His death has been ruled accidental.

Crew Member Killed in Texas Train Crash

SHEPHERD, Texas -- A
freight train smashed into a second train that was stopped on a siding early Thursday, killing one crew member and derailing more than 20 cars, a company spokesman said. Someone threw a switch that sent the moving train onto the siding, said Mark Davis, a spokesman for Union Pacific, which operated both trains. He said the FBI will help investigate, but criminal action is not believed to be involved.

Worker dies after fall at Popeye's

IN - An autopsy scheduled this morning for a Popeye's worker who died Wednesday after
falling from a ladder at the restaurant will help the Lake County coroner determine the cause of death. Gary E. Peterson, 57, of Haynesville, Ill., died after being taken to The Community Hospital in Munster at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, a spokesman at the coroner's office said.

Cabdriver dies, lawyer hurt in high-speed crash

Palm Beach, FL - A cabdriver was killed and one of Palm Beach County's most prominent divorce attorneys was critically injured when their
taxi veered off the road and smashed into a pole Monday night along Congress Avenue near West Palm Beach. The Yellow Cab driver, Jean Valcin, 58, was pronounced dead soon after the crash. His passenger, Ronald Sales, 71, widely considered one of the county's first and most influential full-time divorce attorneys, was in critical condition Tuesday at St. Mary's Medical Center.

Woman shot to death

VINELAND, NJ -- A female Shop Rite employee was
shot to death late Tuesday night in the lobby of the store on South Delsea Drive. The homicide took place shortly after 9 p.m., while shoppers were still in the store, according to witness accounts. A man was seen being taken away in handcuffs by police, who refused to release details about the shooting. They would also not provide any information on the victim.

Authorities: Student dies after killing parents, grandmother

ELKHORN CITY, Ky. -- A 17-year-old high school student who was intoxicated at school went home and shot his parents and grandmother to death, then crashed head-on into a pickup truck driven by a city employee, killing both of them, authorities said.

“He said they had caught him with drugs and weed at school today. They had a drug test and he failed it, and when they tried to arrest him, he ran.” The teen then fled toward Pikeville on U.S. 460 and
crashed head-on into a pickup driven by the Elkhorn City employee, killing the student and the worker at about 3:50 p.m. EDT, authorities said. Johnson said state police troopers, responding to the call, located Hackney westbound on U.S. 460 and attempted to stop the vehicle. Hackney lost control and struck a pickup truck, killing himself and Terry A. Taylor, 41, of Elkhorn City.

Calhoun man killed in industrial accident

Calhoun, GA - A Calhoun man was killed on the job Tuesday night at a Wall Street carpet factory, officials said. According to Deputy Gordon County Coroner Bud Owens: Dennis Wayne Jones, 42, was working with a carpet backing roller at Barrier-Bac Inc., 509 S. Wall St., around 6:15 p.m. when his arm was
caught up in the roll and he was pulled into the machine. Jones was pronounced dead at the scene at 7 p.m.

Worker killed in plant blast - Texas Eastern plant in Butler County rocked by fire

MONROE, OH - State and local officials are searching for the cause of an
explosion that shook the area surrounding the Texas Eastern loading center at Yankee and Todhunter roads late Sunday, igniting a massive fire that resulted in the death of a new employee. While the investigation continued, flames at the Texas Eastern Products Pipeline Co. still burned Monday afternoon as firefighters watched. Kollette F. Meyer, 52, of 8563 Waynesboro Way in Clearcreek Twp., Warren County, had been training as an operator at the center for less than two months at the time of the fatal accident.

Woman Shot, Killed Outside Restaurant - Police Identify Slain Carryout Employee

HYATTSVILLE, Md. -- The search continues for the men responsible for the
shooting death of an 18-year-old restaurant employee in Hyattsville, Md., Monday night. Police said 18-year-old Xian Juan Zheng was killed outside the Sunflower Restaurant in the 5600 block of Sergeant Road about 10:30 p.m. They said the victim's father was working inside the carryout and the victim was outside eating some food when she was approached by two suspects.

Man found dead in motel pool on Leopard

Corpus Christi, TX - A 42 year-old man was
found dead in a motel pool in the 6000 block of Leopard Street Monday afternoon. Police were called to the location at about 2:34 p.m. and found the man face down in the pool. Police said they suspect the man, who was an employee of the motel, had been dead for some time before his body was found.

Postal Worker Hits, Kills Co-Worker With Truck

Driver Initially Denies Accident, Later Admits Feeling 'Bump'CHICAGO -- A post office
vehicle struck and killed a postal employee, who had just finished her shift, in the South Loop neighborhood early Saturday. Killed was Sabrina Young, estimated to be in her 50s, according to a Cook County medical examiner's office spokesman. The accident happened around 3:45 a.m. Saturday outside the Cardiss Collins Post Office, at 433 W. Harrison St., police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer said. The woman was a post office employee who had just finished her shift when she was struck by a semitrailer truck belonging to the post office, Central District Lt. James Sazama said.

Waukesha man killed in explosion - Cause of blast at Lannon Tank Corp. still unknown

Lannon, WI - A 43-year-old Waukesha man died Thursday in an
explosion at a tank manufacturing company, authorities said. The explosion and subsequent fire occurred shortly before noon at Lannon Tank Corp., 20134 W. Main St., Waukesha County Sheriff's Department Detective Steve Pederson said. The man was pronounced dead at the scene, Pederson said. Calls to the medical examiner's office were not returned Thursday. The man's name was not released because family members were still being notified late Thursday.

Construction worker dies in rollover crash

Huntington, IN - A 21-year-old Hartford City man died early Wednesday in a single-car crash in southeast Huntington County. Jerod Allen Hicks, of the 2300 block of South Indiana 3, died at the scene from extensive head injuries suffered after he was
ejected from a Chevrolet Camaro about 3:40 a.m., officials said. The crash occurred near the intersection of Indiana 3 and Huntington County Road 1000 South, according to a report from the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department.

Post office worker slain in Erie, Pa.

PA - Friends expressed shock and sadness Tuesday as they remembered postal worker Steven Lynton, 53, who was
shot and killed in Erie, Pa.

Worker killed in 50-foot fall

WILLIAMSBURG, VA -- Construction on the Yankee Candle complex on Richmond Road came to a halt Tuesday after a
worker fell from the roof of the massive building. The 31-year-old victim, a Mexican man living in Richmond, was working on the roof when he fell 45-50 feet, according to Williamsburg EMS Capt. Chuck White. The man's name has not been released pending notification of his family.

Oil Tanker Driver Dies In Crash - Woman In Pickup Truck Suffers Critical Injuries

BARKHAMSTED, CT -- An oil tanker driver was killed and a Torrington mother seriously injured when the
tanker and a pickup truck collided on Route 44 Monday morning. According to an initial accident report, a GMC Sonoma pickup driven by Sarah S. Clark veered out of the westbound lanes of Route 44 shortly before 8 a.m. and struck the side of an oncoming fuel truck driven by Randy F. Rosenbeck.

Marshfield man killed by shock

Marshfield, WI - A 61-year-old Marshfield man was electrocuted Monday morning in a logging accident at the Wisconsin River Golf Club in the town of Linwood. Kenneth A. Bertz, 11904 Steffek Road, was operating a logging truck when the boom on top of the
truck tangled with power lines, Portage County Coroner Scott Rifleman said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. "His tires actually caught fire from the electricity grounding out through the tires," Rifleman said. "He exited the vehicle at that point and contacted the ground. Once he touched the ground, that's when the electrocution took place." Bertz had been working alone in the woods near the golf course, Rifleman said. He was discovered by a Wisconsin River Golf Club employee who was investigating a power failure at the golf course. At 8:37 a.m. the 911 call was made.

Katrina utility worker dies restoring services

EMPORIA, Kan. - An Emporia man was
killed Monday while restoring power to lines damaged by Hurricane Katrina in Kenner, La., authorities said. Nick Buxton, 27, worked for Kansas City, Mo.-based PAR Electrical Contractors Inc., and collapsed while on a utility pole, said Kenner Police Capt. Steve Caraway.

Steen, Minnesota Farmer Killed In Accident

Sioux Falls, SD - We now know the name of the southwest Minnesota farmer who died in a weekend accident. Sixty-five-year-old Harvey Arvin Van Whye was
run over Saturday by the tractor he was driving near Steen. The Rock County Sheriff's Department says Van Whye was thrown from the tractor after running into a hay bale. Van Whye was air-lifted to a Sioux Falls hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Atlantic Employee Dead After Chase

OMAHA, Neb. -- Cass County, Iowa, officials are investigating the death of a longtime city employee. Byron Jones, 52, of Atlantic, led law enforcement on a chase through the county on Saturday night. Jones allegedly stole a city dump truck, broke into a gun shop and took off with some weapons. Atlantic police, Cass County deputies and Iowa state troopers helped in the chase. Jones was able to lose the officers and was found on a gravel road dead from an apparent
self-inflicted gunshot wound. The Iowa Department of Criminal Investigations is looking into the incident.

Two firetrucks collide, killing one firefighter

Kansas City -- Two firetrucks responding to a brush fire in south-central Kansas
collided head-on Wednesday, killing one firefighter.

The accident occurred about 4 p.m. southwest of Hutchinson as the two trucks from Reno County Fire District No. 7 responded to a controlled field burn that had gotten out of hand, the Reno County Sheriff's Office said. The office said poor visibility over the roadway contributed to the crash.

One driver was pronounced dead at the scene and the driver of the other truck was uninjured, the sheriff's office said. The name of the victim was not released. It was unclear if anyone else was on either truck.

Construction worker dies as scaffold falls at site on West Side

Chicago, IL -- A 25-year-old
construction worker was killed Monday on Chicago's West Side when a second-floor scaffold gave way, officials said.

Barry Hagas, whose address was not available Tuesday night, was pronounced dead at 5:25 p.m. Monday in Mt. Sinai Hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Hagas had been working on a scaffold on the second floor of a building under construction at 1655 S. St. Louis Ave. when a ladder supporting the scaffold gave way, police spokeswoman JoAnn Taylor said.

Hagas struck his head on a piece of concrete when he fell.

Trucker killed, another jailed in E-470 wreck

Denver, CO -- A crash involving an 18-wheeler and a Mack cement pump truck on E-470 on Tuesday morning
killed one driver and put the other in jail, said Trooper Eric Wynn of the Colorado State Patrol.

The driver of the 18-wheeler, Gilbert Vandevoort, 66, of Lynd, Minn., was arrested and booked into Douglas County Jail on a charge of careless driving causing death in connection with the accident.

Wynn said in a prepared statement that Vandevoort was driving a 1999 International east on E-470 at about 10:50 a.m. when he attempted to make an illegal U-turn to go west on the highway.

The cement pump truck, also eastbound, struck the right rear of the semi's trailer and went off the right side of the road, rolling three-quarters of the way over.

The driver of that truck was pronounced dead at the scene, Wynn said. His identity wasn't released pending notification of relatives.

Man killed in farm accident

HOLY CROSS, IA --One man died after he
became stuck in a silo, officials with the Dubuque County sheriff's office said.

Patrick Hannan, 37, was found trapped inside a silo at his farm near Holy Cross about 9 p.m. Monday, officials said.

He was freed and taken to a Dubuque hospital where he was pronounced dead, the sheriff's office said.

Firefighter trainee collapses, dies

TAVARES, FL -- Debbie Enfinger touched her son's South Lake High class ring that hung on a thick gold chain around her neck.

"This keeps him close to my heart," she said, holding back tears Monday. Kevin Enfinger, 22, slipped off his ring Saturday morning and left it in his truck before his firefighting class at the Institute of Public Safety on Lane Park Cutoff Road in Tavares.

Shortly after he began jogging for his class warm-up about 9 a.m., the young man called "Dumplin" in high school,
collapsed and his heart stopped. An instructor performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until an ambulance arrived to take him to Florida Hospital Waterman, where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy revealed an enlarged heart with bad coronary arteries, said Medical Examiner Steven Cogswell.

"This is unusual for a 22-year-old, but it does happen occasionally," he said, adding Enfinger had a history of hypertension. According to medical records, Enfinger -- 6 feet tall and just more than 300 pounds -- was diagnosed with Kawasaki syndrome as a child. That is a disease of the blood vessels that can lead to long-term heart damage, Cogswell said. It's unknown if the physical demands of firefighter school contributed to his death, he said.

Westfield firefighter dies in accident

Westfield, - The black bunting hung from a fire department in mourning. Thirty-six-year-old Chad Hittle, a 14-year veteran of the Westfield-Washington Fire Department, was killed Wednesday night
when his truck ran off of a rural Hamilton County road striking a utility pole and flipping. Investigators say Hittle wasn't wearing a seat belt.

"When somebody's not walking in the door, sitting at the table or climbing in this truck, that's when it's really going to hit," says Captain Todd Burtron.

Members of the department were called to the scene of the accident, not knowing Captain Hittle was in the one vehicle accident

Gunman sought in deaths of two store workers, teenage girl

REMINGTON, Ind.-- A gunman
shot and killed two women working at a northern Indiana convenience store Monday, and police were seeking a man who also was suspected of killing a teenage girl in Ohio.

Lisa Kendall, 29, and Kendora Furr, 38, were found shot about 10 a.m. by a customer who went inside the convenience store because the gasoline pump was not on, The Journal and Courier of Lafayette reported.

One of the women died at the store, while the other was pronounced dead a short time later at a hospital, Chief Deputy Sheriff Terry Risner said. Investigators believe the shootings occurred during an attempted robbery and that something must have scared the gunman, Risner said.

1 killed, 1 wounded in eatery; Oak Lawn police quiz 2 ex-employees

Chicago, IL -- Two gunmen burst into the rear entrance of a fast-food restaurant in Oak Lawn before it opened Friday morning and
shot two employees, one fatally, police said.

The shooting occurred about 10:20 a.m. at Frankie's Beef, Pasta & Catering, 5721 W. 95th St., Police Chief Robert Smith said.

At least one suspect had been involved in a quarrel the day before with the victims, who were both cooks at the restaurant, police and witnesses said.

The slain man's identity was not immediately known, according to a Cook County medical examiner's office spokesman. The only identification officials had was that his first name was believed to be Carlos and he was in his early 20s.


Allentown, PA -- A Brooklyn, N.Y., truck driver was
fatally injured Wednesday in an accident on Interstate 80 in Warren County, police said.

Victor Delgado, 37, was travelling east in Knowlton Township at 11:37 p.m. when his tractor-trailer went into the center median and hit a tree, police said.
Delgado, who was ejected from the rig, was taken to Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg, where he died at 3:11 a.m. Thursday, New Jersey State Police said.

Accident kills worker at trucking depot

Salt Lake City, UT -- A local trucking depot company employee was killed in a freak accident early Thursday.

Kekumi Feleota, 41, was hooking up a double trailer at Roadway Trucking, 1234 S. 3200 West, about 2:30 a.m. when he was
pinned between the tractor, front trailer and the second trailer, according to Salt Lake City police detective Robin Snyder.
It was unclear Thursday why the front trailer and tractor rolled back into Feleota.

LANTA bus driver died from heart problems

Allentown, PA -- The driver of the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority Metro Plus minibus who
collapsed at the wheel Wednesday and caused a three-vehicle accident in Allentown died of natural causes.

Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim on Thursday said Lee Suranofsky, 64, of Bethlehem died of heart problems at Sacred Heart Hospital, Allentown, where he was taken after the 5 p.m. crash on Lehigh Street, just north of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Suranofsky was a driver for the Valley Association for Specialized Transportation, or VAST, which works for LANTA under contract, the past six months.


Roanoke, VA -- The driver of a tractor-trailer died early Monday morning
after the vehicle he was driving went over a bridge in Alleghany County and plunged 125 feet into a creek, Virginia State Police spokesman Sgt. Bob Carpentieri said.

H. Wayne Marquell, 50, of Eaton, Ind., was hauling paper products on eastbound Interstate 64 at approximately 2:30 a.m. when the 2004 Volvo tractor-trailer ran off the right side of the road, striking the guard rail and bridge before going over the bridge, Carpentieri said.

The truck caught fire, and Marquell died at the scene, Carpentieri said. The accident is under investigation.

Worker Killed In Evanston Construction Accident

CHICAGO, IL -- One construction worker was killed and another injured Friday afternoon
when part of an Evanston parking garage collapsed.

The sixth floor of the Sherman Plaza parking garage, at Benson Avenue and Davis Street in the near north suburb, apparently collapsed onto the fifth floor at about 3 p.m. Friday.

The two workers were trapped under the debris after scaffolding and forming material fell on them while they were on the fifth of six floors, said Evanston Fire Department Capt. Kurt Dickman.

Cab Driver Crashes Onto Freeway After Shooting Police Investigate Suspicious Pickup Call

A cab driver was shot and killed after being called for a run along the Southfield freeway in Detroit early Monday morning.


New York, NY -- A PLUMBER died -
possibly from electrocution - while working in a Bowery flophouse yesterday, police and officials said.

Eddie Kasza, 37, a father of three from Staten Island, was in a second-floor bathroom at 197 Bowery when he leaned against exposed wires, sources said.

Kasza, who weighed about 350 pounds, had been perspiring heavily all day and may have suffered a heart attack, witnesses said. But rescue workers saw burns on his body.


Roanoke, VA -- A 60-year-old Christiansburg Public Works employee was
run over by a dump truck and killed Wednesday while working on a road.

Jack Lynne Bean
of Christiansburg apparently did not hear the safety beep when a dump truck driven by Joseph Allen Booth, 33, backed up and crushed him, said Virginia State Police Sgt. Bob Carpentieri. The incident happened around 11:30 a.m. on Chrisman Mill Road in Christiansburg. Bean was pronounced dead at the scene.

Bean was working with a "tamper," a remote-controlled machine that flattens dirt, Carpentieri said. Noise from the tamper and other equipment at the work site likely drowned out the sound of the reverse beep on the dump truck, Carpentieri said.

Worker Killed

TORRANCE, CA -- Authorities today identified a 61-year-old contract maintenance
worker who fell to his death at the MobilExxon refinery in Torrance. Killed in the fall was David Yanez-Plasencia of Long Beach, said Los Angeles County coroner's Lt. Richard Hanna. Yanez-Plasencia fell 15 feet into the empty water treatment tank in the "tank farm" area of the refinery, according to Torrance Fire Capt. Steve Deuel. Firefighters assigned to an Urban Search and Rescue Team retrieved the body from the tank, Deuel said. The accident at the refinery at 3700 W. 190th St. was reported at 8:47 p.m. yesterday, Deuel said. Torrance police investigated the fall, but a preliminary investigation indicated the man accidentally slipped and fell, according to authorities.

Worker who died in fall identified as Honduran

Charleston, SC -- A worker who died
after falling from the roof of a house under construction on Daniel Island has been identified as Taurino Bueso Romero.

Romero's home address was Charlotte, but his body is being returned to his family in Honduras, Berkeley County Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Salisbury said. Romero, 38, was alone on the roof of the house on Delahow Street when he slipped and fell 21 feet Tuesday morning. Romero was pronounced dead at Medical University Hospital. He was employed by Mejia Brother Construction in Goose Creek, Salisbury said.

Apple Valley clerk's death ruled an accident

St. Paul, MN -- The Apple Valley gas station clerk found shot in the head in early August
accidentally killed himself, authorities said Wednesday.

Nail Mahmoud, 23, was the victim not of a homicide, as police first had suspected, but of a tragic mishap. Rumors swirled in the community about the cause of his death, but the investigation's conclusion has left Mahmoud's family and friends reeling.

Mahmoud, a Palestinian immigrant living in Savage, had worked as a cashier for two years at the Quick Stop 66 convenience store at the busy corner of County Road 42 and Garden View Drive. He came to Minnesota four years ago, after his mother was gunned down in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Police trainee accidentally shot, dies

AUSTELL, Ga. -- An investigation has been ordered into the death of a Georgia police recruit who was
accidentally shot by her instructor on the first day of weapons training.

Tara Drummond, 23, was shot at a police academy in Austell, Ga., Tuesday afternoon, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Thursday. She was a recruit for the Kennesaw police department, one of about 30 trainees in their seventh week of a 10-week course.

The trainees were in a classroom in the basement of the academy when the unidentified instructor's gun discharged, said Carol Morgan, the academy director. Drummond was rushed to a hospital, where she died, the report said.

Armored car guard shot, killed in mall

An AT Systems armored car security guard (Fritz Alphonse)was
gunned down Saturday afternoon in the middle of West Lake Mall in an apparent robbery as stunned shoppers watched in horror, according to Atlanta police. The security guard died instantly from a gunshot wound to the head, said police spokeswoman Sylvia Abernathy.

Witnesses at the crowded mall told officers that the security guard had just left a store about 4 p.m. after making a pickup. Witnesses told police that three armed men were seen following the guard, Abernathy said.

"They approached the [guard], and one of them seized the money bag," Abernathy said. "Words were exchanged, and the driver was shot in the head and killed instantly."
The men apparently left with the money, she said.

This was the second time in two years in Atlanta that an armored truck guard has been killed in a robbery. Bantek West guard Moustafa Koura was killed in October 2003 after he and another guard were shot in a well-lit parking lot.


The 31-year-old dropped
when a ledge where his foot was resting gave way while he was trying to change position.

The construction worker who fell about 50 feet from the roof of a Richmond Road building apparently dropped to his death after he untied a safety rope, and then a metal ledge where his foot was resting gave way, police said Wednesday.

The 31-year-old worker was preparing to change his position on the roof to reach more shingles when he fell, a preliminary Williamsburg Police Department probe found.

The man's body hit a construction vehicle before striking the ground, Deputy Police Chief Dave Sloggie said. The incident happened about 3 p.m. Tuesday when construction workers were building the Yankee Candle store. Another worker also lost his footing when the metal ledge gave way but he was still connected to a safety rope and escaped any serious injury.

Police haven't released the worker's identity, pending notification of next of kin. But authorities said he was married and lived with his brother in Richmond. Both men are originally from Mexico.

City worker dies after being injured on job in August

Grand Rapids, MI -- A memorial service is scheduled for Tuesday for a Grand Rapids city worker who died
after being hurt on the job. Fifty-one-year-old John Hartman of Dorr, an employee for the Department of Forestry, was injured August 25 while cutting down a rotting maple tree in front of a home at 43 Rose SW.

A large branch snapped and fell on Hartman's head and shoulder. Witnesses say he then flipped in the air and landed on the ground.

Explosion at plant kills one, injures two

Myrtle Beach, SC -- One man was killed and two other workers were injured Monday
during an explosion at the Carolina Polymers plant, officials said. Nine firefighters also were taken to a local hospital for observation after the blast, which released chemicals from a tank into the air, said Thom Berry, spokesman for the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Two contract workers were on the roof working on the tank when it exploded about 10:30 a.m., said Lt. Shea Smith, spokesman for the Greenville County Sheriff's Office.
Brenton Alan Knight, 29, of Wellford, died of "blast injuries," including head, neck and chest trauma, Greenville County Deputy Coroner Linda Holbrook told The Greenville News.


Hartford, CT -- A gas station clerk who moved to Hartford earlier this year became the city's 20th homicide victim of 2005 when
he was shot during an apparent robbery early Wednesday.

Hartford police did not release the man's identity Wednesday, but his roommate identified him as Zehir Khan, who moved to Hartford from Virginia. Khan was working the overnight shift at the Sunoco station at 181 Franklin Ave. when he was shot sometime before 1:40 a.m., according to police and his roommate. Khan was pronounced dead at Hartford Hospital about five hours later.

Kentucky Fire Chief Killed in Crash

Watts, KY -- A Kentucky fire chief was
killed in a motor vehicle accident while driving to a fire call Sunday evening. Chief Henry James Combs, age 46, served the Watts Volunteer Fire Department in Breathitt County for four years, and was also a member of the Jackson and Vancleve fire departments.

Jackson Fire Chief Roger Friley said Combs was responding to the Watts fire station in his privately owned vehicle when he lost control on a curve and slid sideways into a ditch. The vehicle flipped over and Combs died of asphyxiation, Friley said.

Man Held in Car Salesman's Death

Cerritos, CA -- A man suspected of
stabbing a car salesman to death with a butcher knife did so after his request to test drive a Corvette was turned down at a Cerritos auto dealership, authorities said Wednesday.

The salesman died shortly afterward at Long Beach Memorial Hospital, coroner's Lt. Emil Moldovan said. His identity was withheld until relatives could be notified.

Man charged in deaths of uncle, store owner

Tuscaloosa, -- A Sawyerville man has been arrested and charged in the
separate slayings of his uncle and a popular Hale County store owner. James Albert Davis, 24, was ordered held without bond Tuesday on capital murder charges.

Police Chief Claude Hamilton said Davis is charged in the deaths of his uncle, Freeman Nixon, 78, of Greensboro, and Johnny Windham, 61, who owned and operated Junction Grocery south of Moundville. A customer discovered Windham shot to death inside Junction Grocery on Friday morning. The lone country store sits at the intersections of Alabama highways 60 and 69.

Lino Lakes cop dies in I-35W chase

Lino Lakes, MN -- A Lino Lakes police officer was killed Tuesday evening when a driver fleeing arrest
struck him along Interstate 35W during a high-speed chase.

Police said the driver, a 26-year-old man wanted on an assault warrant out of South Dakota, led officers on a 13-mile chase southbound on the freeway that ended when his vehicle struck the officer, crossed the median and rammed a northbound minivan.

Shawn Silvera, 32, an eight-year veteran of the Lino Lakes Police Department, was laying out a Stop Stick, a device put on the roadway to deflate the tires of a fleeing vehicle, when he was struck just south of Anoka County Road 23 in Lino Lakes. "Silvera intended to terminate the pursuit without any injuries," said Anoka County Sheriff Bruce Andersohn.

Tow Truck Driver Killed While Fixing Flat Tire

Los Angeles, CA -- A tow truck driver
fixing a flat tire was fatally injured when the pickup he was servicing was hit from behind on the shoulder of the Riverside Freeway, authorities said Tuesday.

Michael Shultz, 24, of La Habra died following the crash about 4:50 p.m. Monday on the freeway near the Foothill toll road, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said. The car that hit the pickup was driven by Laura Crowley, 24, of Anaheim, the CHP said.

Man dies in crash of small plane at Blytheville

Blytheville, MS -- Authorities say a 74-year-old pilot died after his
crop duster crashed at Blytheville's airport. The crash Monday afternoon occurred after L.J. Broussard had been spraying fields in Mississippi County. Witnesses say the aircraft pulled up as it was landing, veered right and crashed.

Collier Employee Killed In Accident Is Identified

ODESSA, TX - The man
killed in an industrial accident Tuesday at Collier Safe Co. was identified as Dustin Veon Hall, 24, of New Port Richey.

Hall became pinned by a hydraulic arm at the top of a cement mixer when he was performing maintenance on it, according to a sheriff's office report.

Another Collier Safe employee who was working with Hall called for help, but it was too late.

Entergy contractor dies in storm

Jackson, MS -- A contract electrical worker helping to restore power in Jackson was killed Thursday when he
came in contact with a hot wire. The accident slowed restoration work by Entergy crews dispatched to Jackson and South Mississippi.

"We had a mandatory stand-down for safety briefings," said Pat Nelson, regional customer service manager for Entergy in Southaven who has been temporarily transferred to McComb to help coordinate restoration efforts there.

Vendors want murder probe

Los Angeles, CA -- Ice cream vendors marched Friday with their carts in South Los Angeles to protest violence against vendors and call for an investigation into the
recent murder of a colleague.

During an attempted robbery Saturday by a man and two teenage women, ice cream vendor Eliseo Reyes, 69, was fatally shot near East 56th and San Pedro streets. More than 30 ice cream vendors were at the shooting scene Friday, where they placed black ribbons on their carts and carried signs demanding justice.

Crash kills trucker on I-30

Benton, AR -- Truck driver Khaled Jerome Cooper, 40, of Russellville was
killed when his westbound tractor-trailer collided with the rear of another westbound rig on Interstate 30 in Benton about 2 p.m. Cooper's truck caught on fire, state police said.

Stanley V. Ross of Dallas, the driver of the other truck, was not injured. Passenger Lisa M. Ross, also of Dallas, was injured and taken to Saline Memorial Hospital. Her condition was not available Wednesday.

Fatal truck pileup shuts down Tri-State

Chicago, IL -- Traffic on an eastbound span of the Tri-State Tollway was blocked for about 10 hours Wednesday following an early morning
crash in South Holland that left one truck driver dead and injured two others.

The crash occurred about 1:15 a.m. near the Lincoln Oasis. Drivers were diverted at Halsted Street until the road was cleared shortly after the body of Stanley Krzysciak was finally retrieved from his mashed semitrailer truck about 10:45 a.m., police said.

"Without question, it was terrible for motorists," Illinois State Police Trooper Doug Whitmore said. "Some people were caught between Halsted and the crash site. Their whole day was ruined. We had a lot of emergency equipment in there. It was hard to move around."

Va. Day Laborer Held in Slaying Of Contractor

Chevy Chase, MD -- A day laborer from Annandale has been charged with murder in the
stabbing death of a Fairfax County contractor who had hired him to work in a Chevy Chase home, police said yesterday.

The slaying occurred after the day laborer stole stereo equipment and jewelry from the house where they were working, court records say.

The smoldering body of Hak Bong Kim, 55, was discovered Aug. 15 in the woods near St. Michael's Catholic Church on Ravensworth Road in Annandale. The body was so badly burned that police initially could not tell whether it was that of a man or a woman. Kim's family had reported him missing the night before, so detectives were quickly able to obtain dental records and identify Kim.


AIKEN, SC - Two men have been arrested, and investigators are looking for two others they say
ambushed and killed a newspaper carrier they mistook for a rival drug dealer. Two of the four men already have been charged with murder.

The four men attacked Aiken Standard employees Debra Dorch and Joe Brewer, who were delivering newspapers to homes in the area of Union Academy Road and Windsor Road near Salley on Saturday morning, he said. They thought the carriers were rival drug dealers, Sheriff Hunt said. Ms. Dorch died of her injuries.

Bethlehem grocer is shot to death

Bethlehem, PA -- The 50-year-old owner of a grocery store on Bethlehem's South Side was
found shot to death Sunday afternoon in the store, police said.

Concepcion Martinez was found dead on the floor behind the counter of the Martinez Family Grocery & Deli at 635 Broadway around 2 p.m., according to Bethlehem police. An autopsy is scheduled today.


A worker died in his brother's arms while another miraculously escaped a nine-story fall in separate construction-site accidents in Brooklyn yesterday.

Arturo Gonzalez, 27, was
crushed to death at around 2:45 on Fourth Avenue in Sunset Park as he and co-workers tried to lift a large steel beam with improvised equipment, a witness said.

Gonzalez and other workers had jury-rigged a pulley to raise the beam, but it gave way, sending the beam crashing onto Gonzalez, according to Edmin Gonzalez, no relation, who watched from his window next door.

The dead man's brother, Juan-Carlos Najera, also worked at the site. "The beam caught him in the center of his chest," said Gonzalez. "Blood was coming out of his mouth. His brother held his head to the side so he could breathe and held him until he died."

Richland County, S.C., deputy tried to pass, lost control

Columbia, SC - A Richland County sheriff's deputy who was
killed in an I-20 crash in May was trying to pass a truck when he lost control of his patrol car, an investigation has determined. Deputy Keith Cannon, 26, of Irmo, died May 4 while responding to a call. His westbound Chevrolet Camaro skidded into the median, under a cable barrier and into the eastbound lanes of I-20, where it collided with two vehicles.

Slain restaurant owner called generous, polite; Immigrant from Pakistan shot, killed in apparent robbery

Milwaukee, WI -- Mohammad Zeeshan "Shan" Ali worked long hours getting his restaurant to fly in its first year, but the 40-year-old yearned to trade 12-hour days for more time with his wife and three children.

This week he talked with a friend who owned a gas station about the stress and strain of running a business from behind bulletproof glass on Milwaukee's north side.

"He was telling me, 'This life is very hard,'" said Syed Rizvi, whose gas station is near Ali's restaurant. "He was hoping to spend more time with his kid, but time was real short."
At 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Ali, of Mequon, was shot in the back as he was leaving his carry-out restaurant Fast 'n Tasty, at 3800 N. Teutonia Ave.,
the victim of an apparent robbery. Two suspects, who stole less than $1,000, were seen running from the scene and were still at large late Friday, police said.

Truckers killed in collision are identified

Sacramento, CA --
Two truck drivers killed in a fiery head-on collision last week on Highway 65 have been identified as Gregory Zimmerman, 55, of Corning and John D. Herzog, 42, of Grants Pass, Ore., the Placer County Coroner's Office said.

Herzog was northbound on the two-lane highway north of Lincoln on Thursday when his empty flatbed truck drifted into the southbound lane, the California Highway Patrol said.
Zimmerman, who was heading southbound with a full load of logs, smashed into the truck, the CHP said. Zimmerman's truck plunged into a ditch, spilled its load and burned, the CHP said.

Kenmore man charged in fatal shooting of clerk

Seattle, WA -- Christopher Bistryski, accused of using a handgun owned by a King County sheriff deputy
to kill a clerk at a Kenmore convenience store Saturday, was charged in King County Superior Court yesterday with first-degree murder.

Prosecutors said Bistryski, 23, lives in Kenmore with 44-year-old sheriff's deputy Ferenc Zana and used one of Zana's personal handguns to kill Mohammad-Imad [also known as Dimitri] Harb at a nearby Plaid Pantry.

N.C. man dies during church construction

JOLIVUE, NC -- A North Carolina man died
when roof trusses caved in at a church-construction site in Augusta County on Monday evening.

Serrafin Garcia Zefarino died under more than a ton of wooden beams, just 3 feet from a doorway at the Victory Worship Center on Hammond Lane, according to project superintendent Roger Childress, of Thomas Builders.

"All of the sudden, they just heard a crack and all of the trusses came down," Childress said. The collapse occurred just as workers were wrapping up work for the night on the church-addition project. Two other workers were hospitalized after riding the falling trusses to the ground. All three men worked for Blacksburg-based United Framing Contractors.

Hospital worker fatally shot by estranged husband

SHAMOKIN, Pa. -- A police officer fatally shot his estranged wife at the hospital where she worked, fled and remained at large Wednesday, police said. Tina Curran, 31, of Mount Carmel, was
shot several times. She was flown to the trauma unit at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, where she was pronounced dead.


A popular social worker was
crushed to death by a forklift as it moved construction supplies outside a Long Island school.

Lauren Ludwig
, 53, was knocked down and killed at 11:31 a.m. Monday as she walked from her car to the front door of PS 6 in Oceanside, where she was assistant director of a privately run alcohol- and drug-abuse counseling program.

Police said the 5-foot-4 social worker was hit by the four-foot-high right front tire of the Lull Hi-Loader as it moved roofing materials to another section of the building, which is getting repairs.

Man charged in death of shelter supervisor

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- An alleged drug dealer from San Francisco was charged with murder Tuesday in the
slaying of a 35-year-old homeless shelter supervisor, who police say was gunned down after his killer mistook him for a drug rival.

Dennis Anderson, 23, was charged with the Aug. 3 killing of Fred Ayatch. Ayatch was shot at 2:15 a.m. as he came out of an alley onto Eddy Street near Divisadero Street in the Western Addition. He was shot several more times as he lay on the ground, police said.