Two workers were killed and two others injured when a crane collapsed Wednesday at a power plant construction site in Milford, Conn.
Killed in the accident were Kevin Winslow, 43, of Newington, and Wayne Most, 38, of West Hartford, both boilermakers on the construction job.
Another worker, George Scrivner, 36, of East Haddam, was taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.
The accident happened at about 10:30 a.m., when an 80-foot arch that was meant to house a boiling unit for a new gas-fired power plant toppled over onto a crane. The crane was being used to lift steel beams in place for building crews.
The impact snapped off the arm of the crane, which landed in a heap on top of the pile of steel.
Robert Fitch, the crane operator, was trapped in the cab, with steel pinning his legs and chest for eight hours .
Last night, workers and rescue crews painstakingly used welding torches, hydraulic tools and even hand saws to try to free the man from under 6 feet of twisted steel.
When the last piece of steel was removed and Fitch was freed, his survival was hailed as a miracle.
"This was a tremendous rescue today, for him to come alive out of that vehicle," said Fire Chief Louis LaVecchia.
Fitch, 62, of North Branford, suffered injuries to both legs and had hypothermia. He was listed in critical but stable condition Wednesday night.
Some workers were ordered home for the day, while others stayed at the site to assist rescue efforts. Relatives of construction workers came by the plant all day, hoping to find that their loved ones escaped injury.
The cause of the collapse wasn't known. Inspectors from the state and OSHA were expected to tour the site today.
All four men were employed by Black and Veatch Inc., the $355 million project's general contractor, said company spokesman Brent Freeman.
"This is a major industrial accident, a tragedy, and we need your prayers," Freeman said during a press conference outside the plant yesterday. "The one good note is the miraculous rescue of Bobby Fitch," he said.
The massive natural-gas-fired electrical generating plant has approximately 270 construction workers on site.
Milford is on the Connecticut shoreline, about 10 miles west of New Haven and some 60 miles northeast of New York City.