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1 Dead, 1 Hurt in Drained Water Tower

Thursday, December 6, 2012

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One tank maintenance worker was killed and another was trapped for several hours Wednesday after falling into an empty water tower in eastern Pennsylvania.

It took emergency crews nearly three hours to rescue the trapped worker. A third worker was uninjured.

All three men were employees of Corrosion Control Corp., a tank maintenance, construction and coating contractor based in Pedricktown, NJ. The victims' names were not immediately released, and the condition of the injured worker was not immediately available.

The company could not be reached for comment.

James Myers /

One worker died after falling to the bottom of an empty 100-foot water tank.

Officials said that the workers had been hired to perform maintenance on the 100-foot-tall water tower, located in Lower Providence Township, about 17 miles west of Philadelphia. The tower is owned by the Audubon Water Authority.

3-Hour Rescue

The deceased worker fell to the bottom of the tank, which had been drained for maintenance. The trapped man  fell only part of the way, and his safety harness became suspended in the tank, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Montgomery County Coroner Walter Hofman told The Inquirer that his investigators would work to remove the trapped worker before removing the body of the deceased from the bottom of a central cylinder in the tank.

The accident happened about 11:20 a.m. ET, and the trapped worker was rescued and taken to a waiting ambulance around 2:20 p.m. ET, reported.

It took rescuers approximately three hours to reach a second worker who was suspended in the tank by his safety harness.

Authorities said that the injured man was conscious throughout the entire time, but it was difficult for rescuers to communicate with him because of sound conditions inside of the tank.

An investigator from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration was on his way to the scene, said Hofman.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Health and safety; Industrial Contractors; Maintenance programs; OSHA; Water Tanks

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