Construction worker killed in accident, rig operator injured

2 weeks ago 5
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PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- An accident at a construction site in the University City section of Philadelphia killed one person and injured another, authorities said.

It happened around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday near the University City/ Penn Medicine SEPTA station stop on Convention Avenue.

Action News was there as the owner of Bucks County-based Cook Drilling arrived to the scene overnight.

According to fire officials, heavy equipment was being moved off a tractor-trailer to a work site when a drilling rig being used to lift equipment fell.

A 55-year-old worker became trapped underneath.

It took about 15 minutes to extricate the worker.
He was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The rig operator was also injured and taken to the hospital for treatment.

Cook Drilling said the operator has been on the job for 20 years, but has only been employed with them for a few months.

He suffered injuries to his hand and lower body. Cook Drilling says the operator is coherent but is in a "state of shock."

The 55-year-old worker did not work for Cook Drilling, the company said, but was an inspector for another group.

The rig fell away from the building, so no property was damaged and the area at the time was free of passersby.

"It's fortunate that it was this time of the evening where this is a high traffic area during the day and it could have been a lot more potential for danger to many folks, but still there were two individuals who were hurt here so that's still tragic," Philadelphia Assistant Fire Chief Charles Walker said.

Firefighters said there was fuel leak from the equipment. Licenses & Inspections was called to the scene to investigate.

Action New is told the large drilling rig will remain in the position where it fell as crews work to dismantle it piece by piece on the ground, rather than upright in case the machinery is unstable.

Cook Drilling has been in operation since 1955. This is the first fatal accident in their history, the company said.

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