Falling Pipes Caused Deaths of Two Construction Workers

Two workers were crushed last week in Connecticut by approximately 50-foot-long, 8-foot-diameter pipes that fell on them from above.

Two men killed when the steel frame of a power plant building in Milford, Conn. collapsed last week were on a raised platform outside the structure when a rack of heavy pipes fall on them, officials said Tuesday.

Kevin Winslow, 42, and Wayne Most, 38, were crushed when 20 to 30 of the 50-foot-long, 8-foot-diameter pipes fell on them from above, officials told The Connecticut Post.

Crane operator, Robert Fitch, 62, of North Branford, Conn., was pinned in the cab of his machine for eight hours by steel girders and other debris that fell when a wall of the 80-foot-tall building under construction collapsed.

Fitch was in fair condition Tuesday in Bridgeport Hospital, and has been moved into a regular room from a special care unit.

Construction resumed on the $224 million project Tuesday, with work focused on parts of the 28-acre site that lie outside the accident area, according to the Post.

At the time of the accident, Winslow and Most were in a "man lift," a platform surrounded by a metal railing used to raise and lower workers at building sites, Ron Nobili, business manager for Laborers International Union Local 665 told the Post.

"There were ... radiator pipes above them, held by metal straps at the top of the [steel frame]," said Nobili, whose union represents 30 of approximately 250 workers at the job site. "When the building toppled, these pipes came down on them."

The men were boilermakers, a job that involves work on the boilers that are components of the electricity-generating process.

Nobili and Mario Roma, president of the Laborers' Union local, inspected the site Monday afternoon and were briefed about what happened.

The two men who were killed "were probably doing finishing work when it happened," Nobili told the Post. The steel structure of the boiler building had been bolted and welded in place, and the steel skin of the structure was being applied, he said.

The radiator pipes that fell would have been installed inside the structure when it was finished, the union leader said.

"There is an identical structure being built next to it, with pipe hanging on it, so you can see how it happened," said Nobili. "I imagine that part of what OSHA inspectors are doing is making sure it doesn't happen again."

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