Lake Mead Tunnel Construction Accident Kills 1, Injures Another | News
LAKE MEAD, Nev. -- A construction worker was killed in a freak accident while building the pipeline under Lake Mead. It happened around 4:30 p.m., 600 feet underground, at the Southern Nevada Water Authority's third intake construction project.
Emergency workers raced to the rescue, but nothing could be done to save one construction worker.
"That was my brother that was killed in there. He was one of the hardest workers on the job," said one man who did not wish to be identified. He explained how the underground emergency killed his brother.
"The top piece of the segment that's put in last hit him in the head. It killed him instantly," he said. "The tunnel didn't cave in."
The Southern Nevada Water Authority also described what went wrong. Three workers of the 12-member crew were setting concrete segments, making up the 20-foot diameter tunnel. One of the other workers sustained minor injuries from the accident.
"During this process, one of the tunnel segments did jar loose and some grout material - which was pressurized behind the tunnel - the grout broke loose and ended up striking two of the workers," said SNWA spokesman Bronson Mack.
Mack says the tunnel did not flood and is in tact. He emphasized that despite earlier reports, workers were never trapped or exposed to toxic gases.
For now, their thoughts are with the work crew on this emotional day at the construction site. "A lot of the guys out here on this crew knew him and were friends with him," Mack said. "So, his family is in our prayers right now."
The Southern Nevada Water Authority and the contractor, Vegas Tunnel Constructors, are conducting a full investigation. OSHA will also look into the accident.
This is the first fatality of this project. Work on that construction site is halted for the time being.