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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200674083 - Two Employees Die Of Hydrogen Sulfide Exposure In Manhole

Accident: 200674083 -- Report ID: 0418800 -- Event Date: 10/10/2002
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30550164510/10/20021731Electrical Technologies Corporation
On October 10, 2002, Employees #1 and #2 and two coworkers, of the Electrical Technologies Corporation, were installing PVC pipes in a trench to run cable through it. This duct would then connect to the 10 ft deep by 3 ft 3 in. wide manhole located nearby. Water from the manhole was seeping into the trench through the window outlets that connected the two, and the crew decided to use a pump to purge the water from the manhole. The manhole opening was located 5 ft away, but the trench was dug up to the point of the manhole walls. Employee #2 entered the manhole to unclog the pump hose when he became overwhelmed by the atmospheric conditions and fell, face down, in the water. Employee #1, the foreman, went in to rescue him and also loss consciousness. When one of the coworkers tried to help them, he became dizzy and immediately exited the manhole. Employees #1 and #2 died of hydrogen sulfide exposure and were pronounced dead at the scene. The fire department took readings of the atmosphere and purged the manhole prior to sending in its rescue crew.
Keywords: unconsciousness, vapor, hydrogen sulfide, work rules, construction, inhalation, chemical vapor, manhole, overexposure, chemical
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Excavation, landfill Alteration or rehabilitation Under $50,000 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 305501645 Fatality Asphyxia Occupation not reported FallDist:
FallHt:
Cause: Installing underground plumbing conduit
FatCause: Asphyxiation/inhalation of toxic vapor
2 305501645 Fatality Asphyxia Occupation not reported FallDist:
FallHt:
Cause: Installing underground plumbing conduit
FatCause: Asphyxiation/inhalation of toxic vapor

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