Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace

2 Propane Workers Killed In Savage Explosion

May 27, Auburn, Washington - Two workers were killed on the job by a propane explosion at Ferrell Gas in Auburn Wednesday evening. The first call came into Valley Regional Fire as a truck fire, but it was quickly discovered that two workers were missing. When firefighters arrived shortly after 5 p.m., the fire had engulfed a truck and nearby propane tanks.

Worker Dies At Edwardsport Plant Construction Site

May 26, Knox County, Indiana - A worker was killed today in an on-the-job accident at the Duke Energy plant in Edwardsport. The accident happened just before 11:30 a.m. The Knox County Coroner's Office tells us 51-year-old John Scott Garrett was painting inside a tank on the work site. For an unknown reason, the scaffolding he was standing on gave way. Garrett fell 40 feet landing on a concrete pad. The coroner says the official cause of death is blunt force trauma.

Ark. contractor employee dies in fall

May 27, Texarkana, Texas — Authorities say an employee of an onsite contractor for the Red River Army Depot died when he fell 30 feet from a building. Adrienne Brown, a spokeswoman for the depot in northeast Texas, says the death had been confirmed but that the names of the worker and the company couldn't be immediately released.

TPW worker dies in freak accident

May 24, Anderson County, Texas - A freak accident is being blamed for the death of a Texas Parks and Wildlife worker. Biologist Wesley Littrell was killed after apparently getting caught under a brush hog mower. Anderson County sheriff's deputies responded to the call around 2:30 p.m. at the Gus Engeling Wildlife Management area - that's off Highway 287 near Palestine.

Airport service worker dies in Blaine

May 24, Anoka County, Minnesota - An Anoka County-Blaine Airport aircraft service business employee died last week in an accident involving a fuel truck, authorities have confirmed. Lt. Paul Sommer with the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that the May 21 death of Patrick J. Marzitelli, 17, did not involve a traffic incident. “We are not 100 percent sure how it happened,” Sommer said. “We don’t suspect foul play, but there was some sort of involvement with the fuel vehicle. It was fume-related.”

Truck stop employee shot, killed

May 22, Gary, Illinois - A Park Forest, Ill., man who worked at a Miller truck stop, was shot to death Saturday morning outside the business. Gary police and the Lake County Coroner¹s office identified the victim as Vernale Givens, 28. Lt. Jack Arnold said police were called to the Steel City Truck Stop, 8121 Melton Road, at 7:22 a.m. It's at the southeast corner of U.S. 20 and Indiana 51.

Employee killed in Rib Crib robbery

May 22, Tulsa, Oklahoma - Friday night, about 150 people gathered for a vigil honoring the victim in a deadly robbery at a Midtown Tulsa restaurant. Balloons were released, candles lit and prayers said for Howard "Bud" Stoddard. Tulsa Police have arrested all three suspects believed to be involved in the crime.

Updated: Timpanogos Cave National Monument Employee Killed By Fall

May 21, Timpanogos Cave, Utah - The trail to the entrance of Timpanogos Cave is steep and exposed. NPS photo. A day after a National Park Service employee died in a fall at Timpanogos Cave National Monument, agency officials decided to halt cave tours through the weekend while they investigated the accident. Rex Walker, a 58-year-old maintenance worker at the Utah monument, was killed in a fall of 500-600 feet down a steep, rocky slope Thursday. His death came just a day after an 11-year-old schoolgirl suffered a broken jaw and other injuries in a fall at the monument, Timpanogos Superintendent Dennis Davis said Friday.

Another Massey Miner Dies in West Virginia

May 21, Mingo County, West Virginia - About 15 hours after Massey CEO Don Blankenship told Congress that worker safety is the company’s top priority, another Massey miner died in West Virginia, The Associated Press reports. State of West Virginia spokesman Hoy Murphy says 55-year-old James Erwin of Delbarton died about 6 a.m. Friday. Murphy says Erwin was pinned between a piece of heavy equipment and the wall at Massey’s Ruby Energy mine in Mingo County on May 10.

Worker killed at Galesburg Municipal Airport

May 21, Galesburg, North Dakota - A North Dakota man has been killed while working to fix a broken door on a hangar at the Galesburg Municipal Airport. Knox County Coroner Mark Thomas says emergency crews were called to the western Illinois airport Thursday after a man was discovered caught in the door. Thomas says 39-year-old Robert Hill Jr. of West Fargo was working on behalf of the contractor who installed the door, which was believed to be jammed.

2 Ark. police killed during traffic stop on I-40

May 20, West Memphis, Arkansas — Two police officers doing anti-drug work were fatally shot by two men with AK-47s along a busy Arkansas interstate on Thursday, and the suspects later died in a shootout that injured the local sheriff and a deputy in a crowded Walmart parking lot, authorities said. Officers pulled over a white minivan with Ohio license plates while "running drug interdiction" on Interstate 40 in east Arkansas, said West Memphis Police Inspector Bert Shelton. Two men got out of the van with the assault rifles and opened fire on the officers, he said. Sgt. Brandon Paudert, 39, the son of West Memphis' police chief, died at the scene and Officer Bill Evans, 38, died at a hospital, authorities said. Evans made the initial stop, and Paudert arrived moments later as backup, Assistant Police Chief Mike Allen said.

Sc Worker Dies In 60 Foot Fall From Bucket Truck

May 20, Pawleys Island, South Carolina - A worker who was trimming trees has died after falling 60 feet from a bucket truck on the South Carolina coast. Multiple media outlets reported that 48-year-old Bill Hucks of Galivants Ferry died about midday Wednesday. Georgetown County Coroner Kenny Johnson says Hucks was trimming trees on Pawleys Island when he fell. A co-worker said Hucks leaned back and part of the bucket broke.

Maintenance worker dies in fall on Utah mountain

May 20, American Fork, Utah - The Utah County sheriff's office says a seasonal maintenance worker at Timpanogos Cave National Monument has fallen several hundred feet to his death. Sgt. Spencer Cannon says the worker was near the cave on some kind of wheeled vehicle -- either a two-wheeler or a four-wheeler -- when he fell 300 to 400 feet down a steep mountainside Thursday afternoon. Monument superintendent Denis Davis told KSL-TV that the man may have fallen as far as 1,000 feet.

Man killed in forklift accident

May 20, Perry, Florida - A worker at a Panhandle paper mill was killed in a forklift accident. Mark Ferguson died Tuesday at the Buckeye Paper Mill plant in Perry. The 42-year-old worked at the mill as a contractor for BIS Frucon Industrial Services. A Frucon spokesman says Ferguson was on foot when the forklift hit him. He was taken to a Tallahassee hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The details of the accident were being investigated.

Houston Officer Dies After Overnight Crash

May 19, Houston, Texas - Wednesday morning, the Houston Police Department lost one of their own. Officer Eydelmen Mani was killed in a single car wreck. His captain, Victor Rodriguez, said the 30-year-old was assisting fellow officers late Tuesday night. "There was a vehicular chase involving a stolen vehicle and it appears Mani was trying to catch up," Rodriguez said.

City Worker Struck, Killed By Garbage Truck

May 14, Louisville, Kentucky - Police are investigating a fatal accident involving a garbage truck. Officers said a city worker was struck and killed by a garbage truck in the 600 block of Meriwether Avenue. Metro police spokesman Dwight Mitchell said a three-person sanitation crew, a driver and two tippers, returned to the Public Works facility on Meriwether around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. The two tippers got out of the truck as they arrived at the facility. The driver did not see one of the tippers and struck her, Mitchell said. Police said the victim was Darlene Brown, 51, of East Burnett Avenue. An autopsy has been scheduled for Thursday.

Police believe man suspected of killing bosses was upset over pay

May 18, Boulder County, Colorado - Police say a man found dead, along with the two owners of a stove and flooring company, is now being labeled as a suspect in the case. “We did find some indication in his writings that he’d recently gone out and practiced with the handgun,” Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner said. Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner says 50-year-old Robert Montgomery of rural Boulder County had a .9 mm Smith & Wesson handgun in his hand when found dead by police. He says Montgomery appeared to have suffered a single gunshot wound...The owners of the business, 40-year-old Sean Griffin and 41-year-old Staci Griffin, both of Longmont, were killed.

Russell West of Shelburne killed Monday morning in work-place accident at Northfield Mountain

May 17, Erving, Massachusetts – A 41-year-old Shelburne man was killed Monday morning in an work-related accident at the Northfield Mountain Reservoir when he was struck by a section of hose that broke free while he was operating a water pump, an official said. Russell West was pronounced dead at the scene, said Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth D. Scheibel. West was working for the C.D. Davenport Trucking & Construction of Greenfield on a project to dredge silt from the floor of the reservoir, Scheibel said.

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