Painter Hurt in MD Tower Fall
A painter on a Maryland water tower job fell inside the structure Monday (Sept. 26), sustaining injuries.
Reports identify the painter as Roque Jose Castro, 31. He was working on an interior and exterior repainting job at the Matapeake Water Tower in Matapeake, MD, on Kent Island in the Chesapeake Bay.
Upgraded to Fair Condition
According to the Kent Island Bay Times, the 20-foot fall occurred around 1:00 p.m. on Monday. Castro was taken to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma Center with possible back injuries.
When admitted, Castro was reportedly listed in serious condition; on Wednesday morning (Sept. 28), a hospital spokesperson said Castro had been upgraded to fair condition.
The Bay Times reports that Castro fell inside the empty water tower, and members of the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department rescued the painter via a door at the bottom of the work area.
About the Job
The Matapeake Water Tower repainting project began Sept. 12 and is set to last about a month, according to Queen Anne’s County Public Works, which characterized the work as "routine."
The county contracts with Utility Services Inc., which subcontracted this job to Baltimore-based K&K Painting and Construction, according to the Bay Times.
Neither company has any worker-safety violations on record in the past five years, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s inspection database.
A representative of the state’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation confirmed to PaintSquare News that Maryland Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the incident, but could provide no further information.
A representative who answered the phone at K&K Painting on Wednesday (Sept. 28) declined to comment.
The Matapeake Water Tower is a 400,000-gallon tank that was built in the 1970s to supply a nearby research site, which included a scale model of the Chesapeake Bay. The research facility closed soon after opening, according to Queen Anne’s County Public Works, and in the 1990s the tower was turned over to the county.