Sunday, December 31, 2017

Electrician apprentice Richard Louis Collett, 27, with Sunrise Electric of Pinellas, LLC. crushed his head while operating a scissor lift in Pinellas Park, Florida

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — A man working on a renovation project was killed on the job.

According to Pinellas Park Police, the accident happened at a building located at 6651 102nd Ave. on Thursday morning.

Investigators said it appeared the man was operating a motorized piece of equipment when he became trapped between it and a door frame.

While operating a 14-foot Scissor Lift, 27-year-old Richard Collett was standing on top of the lift using a joystick type controller to move it out of the building.

He was trying to exit a double door entrance and trapped his head between the top of the lift rail and the door frame, causing severe trauma to his head.

Collett was an electrician apprentice and an employee of Sunrise Electric of Pinellas, LLC.

OSHA investigators were notified and responded to conduct their own investigation as is normal procedure for work related death investigations.

The death of Mr. Collett appears to be an accident and an autopsy will be performed by the Pinellas County Medical Examiner's Office.



The Pinellas Park Police responded to the death of a worker Thursday morning

According to police, an electrician apprentice was pinned between a piece of motorized equipment and a door frame around 10 a.m.

The worker has been identified as 27-year-old Richard Louis Collett of Dunedin. Collett was moving a fourteen-foot scissor lift out of the exit of a building when his head was trapped between the lift rail and the door frame, reportedly causing trauma to his head.

Collett was discovered unresponsive by a coworker and he was pronounced dead at the scene at the arrival of paramedics. He was helping to provide renovations to an abandoned building.

Collett worked for Sunrise Electric of Pinellas and was doing sub-contractor work for Down Under Construction Services at the time of the incident.

The incident appears to be accidental and a further autopsy will be performed by the Pinellas County Medical Examiner, as well as a separate investigation by OSHA. 


PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (WFLA) – A man died after getting trapped by a piece of equipment while rennovating a building in Pinellas Park Thursday morning.

Police and fire responded to a report of an industrial accident on 102nd Avenue North just after 10 a.m.

According to Pinellas Park police, Richard Collett, 27, of Dunedin, was operating a 14-foot scissor lift as part of a building renovation project.

Prior to his death, Collett was standing on top of the scissor lift, using a joystick-type controller to move the lift out of the building.

Collett tried to exit a double door and trapped his head between the top of the lift and the door frame, which caused severe trauma to his head.

He was located by a co-worker injured and unresponsive.

Paramedics responded and Collett was pronounced dead at the scene.

Collett was an employee of Sunrise Electric of Pinellas, LLC. The company was performing sub-contractor work for Down Under Construction Services.

OSHA investigators responded to conduct their own investigation, as is normal procedure.

A contractor for MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P., died in Ohio County, WV after a tracked vehicle moving a piece of natural gas pipe slipped on frozen ground and struck him


A worker died Thursday in Ohio County after a tracked vehicle moving a piece of natural gas pipe slipped on frozen ground and struck him, according to the Ohio County Emergency Management Agency’s director.

Director Lou Vargo said the man worked for a contractor for MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P., though he didn’t know the name of the contracting company Thursday night. He said he didn’t know whether the pipeline was meant to carry natural gas or some other product related to natural gas mining.

Vargo said he wasn’t sure whether the victim was from West Virginia, and said family members still need to be notified. He said the county sheriff’s office, which is leading the local investigation, would be releasing the victim’s name.

Ohio sheriff’s Deputy B. Frey said the incident occurred around 1 p.m. and the investigation is ongoing. Vargo said it happened several miles outside West Liberty, probably 400-500 yards from the intersection of GC&P and Dement roads.

Vargo said a trackhoe, a tracked vehicle with an arm, was carrying up a hill a new section of pipe suspended by a belt from its arm. He said two workers, the victim among them, were holding ropes attached to the suspended 2-foot diameter pipe in order to control its direction.

He said the victim was holding the rope downhill from the vehicle when it slipped on the ice.

“He was dead on arrival when West Liberty Emergency Medical Services arrived,” Vargo said. “It was just a tragic accident that occurred.”

He said that in addition to the sheriff’s office, the West Liberty Volunteer Fire Department/EMS and county medical examiner responded to the scene.

MarkWest is a subsidiary of MPLX LP, a master limited partnership formed by Marathon Petroleum Corporation. Jamal T. Kheiry, communications manager for Marathon Petroleum, emailed the following statement Thursday night and said he didn’t have any additional information to provide at that time:

“At approximately 1:00 p.m. today, while installing new pipe on a right of way in Ohio County, West Virginia, a subcontractor was fatally injured. Federal and state regulatory agencies have been contacted. Work on this project was immediately suspended and MarkWest issued a safety stand-down on all similar work sites across the Tri-state region while we thoroughly investigate this tragic event. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and co-workers of the deceased.”

MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. engages in the gathering, processing, and transportation of natural gas. The company is also involved in the gathering, transportation, fractionation, storage, and marketing of natural gas liquids; and the gathering and transportation of crude oil. It has presence in various natural gas resource plays, including the Marcellus Shale, Utica Shale, Huron/Berea Shale, Haynesville Shale, Woodford Shale, and Granite Wash formation. MarkWest Energy GP, L.L.C. serves as the general partner of the company. MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.

Pipeline to carry natural-gas liquids from Ohio to Texas moving forward
Published: July 22, 2014 - 11:00 AM

By Akron Beacon Journal Staff

Bob Downing

Plans for a pipeline to carry natural-gas liquids from Ohio to the Gulf Coast are progressing.

Dubbed the Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline Project, the pipeline is being developed by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP and its partner, MarkWest Utica EMG LLC. It is designed to serve the Utica and Marcellus shale regions in Ohio and surrounding states.

New details for the project, first announced in August, have emerged on a fact sheet posted on Kinder Morgan’s website.

The pipeline would run from a proposed natural-gas processing plant in Uhrichsville in southern Tuscarawas County to Mont Belvieu, Texas.

The new processing plant and pipeline are estimated to cost $1 billion, although no figures have been posted.

The project calls for converting 1,005 miles of Kinder Morgan’s 24-inch and 26-inch Tennessee Gas Pipeline system, switching it from carrying natural gas to transporting related liquids such as ethane, butane and propane.

The existing pipeline runs from Mercer County in western Pennsylvania to Natchitoches, La. A new line, stretching about 200 miles, would be built from Natchitoches to Mont Belvieu.

The project also includes about 160 miles of new laterals and interconnects in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.

The pipeline would have an initial capacity of 150,000 barrels per day. That would be expanded to 400,000 barrels per day with the addition of pump stations.

The new pipeline is scheduled to be in full service by the second quarter of 2017.

Houston-based Kinder Morgan would own 75 percent of the liquids pipeline and Denver-based MarkWest Utica EMG would have the option to invest in the remaining 25 percent.

Kinder Morgan would operate the new pipeline.

That company also formed a partnership with Houston-based Targa Resources Partners LP to build a fractionation facility to separate liquids at Mont Belvieu.

In related news, TransCanada Corp.’s ANR Pipeline Co. is conducting an open sign-up season through July 28 for its proposed ANR East Pipeline across northern Ohio.

The pipeline would run from gas-processing facilities in Columbiana and Carroll counties in eastern Ohio to near Defiance in northwest Ohio, where it would connect with existing and proposed pipelines to the Gulf Coast and to Detroit, Ontario and the Midwest.

The pipeline, scheduled to be operational in the third quarter of 2017, would improve access to Utica gas to 35 Midwest utilities that generate electricity and either burn natural gas or could switch to natural gas in the future.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Adam Lee, 40, a Loveland Ski Area lift maintenance worker, died after he got caught up in a “magic carpet” lift he was working on

DILLON, Colo. – 

Investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are now trying to learn why a Loveland Ski Area lift maintenance worker died while working Thursday morning.

OSHA investigators tell FOX31 that Adam Lee, 40, was working on the Magic Carpet, a piece of equipment that helps beginners get up a hill, when the accident happened. They wouldn’t divulge more details.

“It was a shock,” Erika Lee told FOX31, when she learned that her husband of 14 years had died.

Erika and Adam have three children together, two girls who are 12 and nine years old and a boy who is five.

“He just really loved those kids,” Erika said. “Everything was about the kids. We always did family things together.”

But they’d been a part a lot the past two years. During the winter seasons, Adam lived in Colorado and worked at Loveland, while Erika and the children lived in Michigan, where she’s from.

Finally, this summer Adam was promoted to a lift maintenance worker and the rest of the family moved to Colorado.

“We struggled,” Erika said, talking about their time apart. “Anyone who knows, knows we struggled and we fought really hard to stay together as a family. We didn’t just say OK, we’re going to call it quits.”

Now Erika wants answers as to what happened in the accident that took Adam’s life. She told FOX31 that Loveland Ski Area wouldn’t give her many details about how Adam died.

Loveland Ski Area sent FOX31 the following statement:

“At approximately 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 28, a Loveland Ski Area employee was involved in a fatal accident while working. Ski Patrol was in the area and responded immediately. The circumstances of the incident are being investigated. Loveland Ski Area extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends affected by this tragic event.”

“I didn’t say bye to him that morning,” Erika said. “I was rushing out the door, and I just…I was wondering how I was going to get to work and I didn’t say bye to him and that just went through my mind," she said. “It’s hard to imagine he’s never going to walk through that door again,” she said.

OSHA investigators said it could take up to six months for their investigation to be complete. They said deadly accidents involving workers Loveland and other Colorado ski areas are rare.



A maintenance employee died while working at Loveland Ski Area on Thursday morning.

Officials said the employee, identified by family members as 40-year-old Adam Lee, was involved in an accident about 11 a.m. It did not say where the accident took place.

The Clear Creek County Coroner’s Office said an autopsy was scheduled for Saturday.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident. A spokesman said the investigation will take six months.

Loveland officials said Ski Patrol responded but Lee was pronounced dead. The circumstances of what led to the accident are under investigation.

The hours of operation at the ski area will not be impacted on Friday, officials said.



Federal authorities launched an investigation Friday into the death of a Loveland Ski Area worker who got caught up in a “magic carpet” lift he was working on, 9Wants to Know has learned.

Two investigators from the Denver office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration spent part of the day at the ski area in Clear Creek County, said Herb Gibson, the federal agency’s area director.

“We were there first thing this morning,” Gibson told 9NEWS. “We’re trying to determine the cause and exactly what happened in this incident and, obviously, prevent it from happening again.”

A “magic carpet” lift is, essentially, a conveyor belt installed at snow-level. Skiers stand on it on their skis or snowboards and are transported uphill.

They are often used on beginner hills.

Gibson said the lift involved in Thursday’s deadly accident was “very small” and not in use while the worker was performing maintenance on it.

“The person got caught up in some of the equipment,” Gibson said. “This is a tragic accident during the holidays.”

The identity of the 40-year-old man who died after an accident around 11 a.m. Thursday has not been released because efforts were still underway to notify his family, Carrie Blackwell, chief deputy coroner in Clear Creek County, told 9NEWS.

An autopsy is scheduled Saturday.

The Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board regulates ski lifts and is responsible for investigating any death or injury that could be the result of an equipment malfunction. An engineer conducted an inspection that “revealed proper functioning of the lift,” said Lee Rasizer, spokesman for the tramway safety board.

As a result, the tramway safety board won’t be involved in the investigation.

OSHA is part of the U.S. Department of Labor and is charged with investigating workplace accidents.

Gibson said it is likely to be at least a few months before OSHA investigators reach a conclusion about what happened.

He said the operators of the ski area have been cooperating with investigators.

John Sellers, the marketing director at Loveland Ski Area, described the death as a “fatal accident while working” in a written statement but did not shed further light on the incident.

“Ski Patrol was in the area and responded immediately,” Sellers said in the statement. “The circumstances of the incident are being investigated.”

Loveland Ski Area opened for the season on Oct. 20.

In March, the ski area’s administrators came under criticism from Clear Creek County Coroner Chris Hegmann after he learned that employees moved the body of a dead skier before investigators arrived at the scene. That man died after crashing into a tree.


GEORGETOWN – State tramway safety board engineers investigated a lift at Loveland Ski Area and determined that it was functioning properly and unrelated to the death of an resort employee on Thursday.

The ski area said its ski patrol was in the area when an accident happened around 11 a.m. Thursday and responded immediately.

Resort spokesman John Sellers said the circumstances of the accident, which occurred while the employee was working, were under investigation and declined to give details.

“Loveland Ski Area extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends affected by this tragic event,” a statement read.

The name of the employee has not been released, and local law enforcement authorities haven’t released further information.

The cause of the deadly Ivins, Utah fire, which started in one of the rear bedrooms, was electrical in nature


Officials have released the cause of a fire that consumed an Ivins home on Christmas Eve, leaving one woman and possibly two dogs dead while injuring another woman.

Fire investigators determined that the cause of the fire, which started in one of the rear bedrooms, was “electrical in nature,” Todd Hohbein, inspector and fire investigator with the State of Utah, said. Multiple engines respond to battle a blaze at a home on 100 North that killed an elderly woman and injured her daughter Sunday evening, Ivins, Utah, Dec. 24, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

“It appears there was an electrical fault or failure in the bedroom where the victim resided – one that had nothing to do with Christmas or holiday lighting,” Hohbein said.

A fire investigator is called in whenever there is a death involved. Hohbein responded in Ivins Sunday night to process the scene and to determine where the fire started as well as the cause.

Firefighters and emergency responders were dispatched just before 7 p.m. Christmas Eve to the structure fire, involving a home on West 100 North, with initial reports stating two individuals were trapped inside, Santa Clara Fire Chief Dan Nelson said.

Once on scene, fire personnel discovered there was an elderly woman, who was bedridden, trapped inside one of the rear bedrooms in the residence. The woman subsequently died in the blaze, seemingly due to severe burns and smoke inhalation, according to officials.

“Sadly, she never made it out of that room alive,” Nelson said.

Earlier in the evening, the woman’s daughter had arrived at the home to find heavy smoke coming from the rear of the residence. Knowing her mother would be unable to evacuate on her own, she ran into the home and reached the back bedroom where she was overcome by the heavy smoke.

She then ran outside for air, with the intent of going back into the residence to get her mom out, Nelson said.

Once outside, the daughter encountered responding officers and paramedics who stopped her from entering the house for a second time, in spite of her objections, Nelson said, and for good reason.

“It was very good they stopped her, because there was heavy fire involvement by the time we arrived, with dense smoke and with additional oxygen coming through the home, the fire grew exponentially, so she likely would not have made it back out the second time,” Nelson said.

Firefighters were already making their way to the rear bedroom as EMT’s assessed the daughter’s condition before she was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George to be treated for smoke inhalation and burns.

Firefighters continued to tend to the scene for nearly four hours, making sure all embers were completely extinguished and any hot spots that could reignite were out, Nelson said, adding: “there was a great deal of clean-up involved, and we were chasing fire all over, so we wanted to make sure it was out.”

According to initial reports, two of the four dogs in the home at the time of the incident were able to make it out safely. It is believed that the other two dogs died in the fire, but that is preliminary information only, Hohbein said.

The Santa Clara Fire Department, Ivins City Fire Department, St. George Fire Department and Santa Clara-Ivins City Police were among those agencies responding to the scene, bringing engines, ladder trucks and ambulances that lined the street for more than a block Sunday evening.

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

OLD BUILDINGS ARE DEATH TRAPS: At least 12 people were killed in a 5-alarm fire at an old apartment building in the Bronx


December is the peak fire month and there are many potential causes: defective electrical circuits, overloaded extension cords, heaters placed near combustibles as people try to protect from the record-setting cold, children playing with matches/fire, etc.



A child playing with a stove ignited a massive fire Thursday night that killed at least 12 people, including children, at an apartment building in the Bronx borough of New York City, officials said.

Daniel Nigro, the FDNY’s commissioner, told reporters Friday that a 3 1/2-year-old child was fiddling around with a stove on the first floor of the building when the fire broke out around 7 p.m.

The mother of the child left the apartment with her two children, leaving the door open which allowed the blaze to spread quickly, he said.

More than 160 firefighters responded to the four-alarm fire in the Bronx, just a block from the borough's famed zoo. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Nigro said the incident was the worst loss of life caused by fires in the city, excluding the September 11 terror attacks, since 87 people were killed at a social club fire in the Bronx in 1990.

More than 170 firefighters were on the scene of the four-alarm fire, located at a five-story walk-up apartment house in the Bronx, just a block from the borough's famed zoo, FOX5 New York reported. The firefighters worked to battle the blaze in temperatures as low as 15 degrees.


The victims included children aged 1, 2, 7 and an unidentified boy, the FDNY announced. The other victims were three women aged 19, 37, 63, one unidentified woman and four unidentified men. Authorities have not named the victims. Dozens of other victims were rescued with injuries but were expected to recover.

The New York Times reported a woman, her two daughters and her niece were among the dead. They were identified as Karen Stewart-Francis, 37, and her daughters: Kylie Francis, 2, and Kelly Francis, 7 and her niece Shawntay Young, 19.

Smoke rises from a window of a burned apartment building in the Bronx. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Stewart-Francis' mother, told the newspaper that 13 family members resided in the apartment building.

“My daughter. My grandchildren. Tell me, what am I going to do?” Ambrozia Stewart said. “Four people I lost.”

The building had no elevator, the Associated Press reported, citing city records. Fire escapes were visible on the facade of the building.

The fire department responded to emergency calls within three minutes.

Witnesses described the scene of the fire and the panic from the building's tenants.

One witness, Xanral Collins, told the New York Post he saw a father running toward the building, but was unable to enter.

"I saw him screaming, 'My babies are dead! My babies are dead!'" Collins said.

Jamal Flicker, a witness told the New York Post he heard screams for help.

"The smoke was crazy, people screaming, 'Get out!" Flicker said. "I heard a woman yelling, 'We're trapped, help!'"

"I heard a woman yelling, 'We're trapped, help!'" - Jamal Flicker, a witness, said.

Neighborhood resident Robert Gonzalez, who has a friend who lives in the building, told the Associated Press she got out on a fire escape as another resident fled with five children.

"When I got here, she was crying," Gonzalez said.

Kwabena Mensah, who feared his son, U.S. Army soldier Emmanuel Mensah, was one of the victims of the devastating fire, confirmed his death to PIX11 on Friday.

Mensah's uncle, Twum Bredu, told The New York Times that his nephew "brough four people out. When he went to bring a fifth person out, the fire caught up with him."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, at a news conference Thursday, advised to "hold your families close and keep these families here in the Bronx in your prayers."

At least 12 people were killed when a fire fueled by gusty winds tore through a century-old apartment building in the Bronx on a frigid Thursday night, New York City officials said. It was the deadliest fire in the city in more than a quarter-century.

In addition to the deaths, four people were critically injured and two people sustained non-life-threatening injuries, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference late Thursday. The youngest among the dead was 1 year old, the oldest over 50.

“Tonight in the Bronx we’ve seen the worst fire tragedy in at least a quarter of a century,’’ the mayor said on Twitter late Thursday. “It is unspeakable, and families have been torn apart.”

The first emergency call came at 6:51 p.m. for a fire in a five-story apartment building at 2363 Prospect Avenue in the Belmont neighborhood, a spokesman for the New York City Fire Department said. The department responded in three minutes, the mayor said, and firefighters were able to rescue 12 people.

The fire began on the first floor but quickly spread throughout the building, as the wind fed oxygen to the flames. The people who died were on various floors, the fire commissioner, Daniel A. Nigro, said.

The blaze grew to five-alarm status, and more than 160 firefighters responded. By the time Mr. de Blasio spoke, around 10 p.m., the flames had been brought under control. 

The cause of the fire was not yet clear.  But December is the peak fire month and there are many potential causes: defective electrical circuits, overloaded extension cords, heaters placed near combustibles as people try to protect from the record-setting cold.

It was a bitterly cold night, with temperatures in the teens, and the wind chill made it feel below zero. Water leaking from fire hoses froze in streaks on the concrete, and displaced residents walked around draped in American Red Cross blankets. Three young girls were whisked into a neighboring building after climbing down a fire escape with no shoes or coats.

Officials said they were opening up the nearby Grace H. Dodge vocational high school as a reception center for people who needed housing and other services. People looking for relatives who lived in the building were also told to go to the school, or to call 311.

Luz Hernandez said she first realized something was wrong when the smell of burning rubber filled her apartment on the fourth floor, followed by smoke so thick that the room turned pitch-black. She summoned her husband and two sons, 11 and 16, to the window, and they descended the front fire escape as smoke rose near them. Photo

Evacuees from a deadly fire in the Bronx on Thursday. Credit David Dee Delgado for The New York Times

Later, Ms. Hernandez said in Spanish, she saw the charred bodies of two women who lived together and their two young daughters being carried away on stretchers.

Through the closed windows of a building next door, the smoke seeped into a fifth-floor apartment where Ana Santiago, 25, was cooking dinner.

Ms. Santiago said she called 911 and ran downstairs with her 4-year-old son, knocking on neighbors’ doors as she went. When she reached the street, she saw a man lying on the ground, she said, pointing to a patch of sidewalk where glass shards lay like snow. She could not tell if he was alive or dead.

“I saw the body, I almost passed out,” she said.

Down the street, under a sign welcoming visitors to Little Italy, Dianna Reyes wailed as she hopped out of a Red Cross vehicle. She said that she had escaped with her daughter and pulled a neighbor’s two children from the fire, but that she had to leave other children behind.

“I had one on my front and one on my back,” Ms. Reyes said, sobbing. “I couldn’t carry the rest of them.” Photo

Thieron Diallo, 59, a Guinean immigrant who lived in a basement apartment, said the tenants of the building — a five-story walk-up near East 187th Street, close to the Bronx Zoo — were a diverse set, including Africans, West Indians and Hispanics.

The building, constructed of plaster and brick, was not fireproof. It was built in 1916 and had more than 20 units, according to property records.

City records appeared to indicate that as of Thursday, the building had six open violations, including one for a defective smoke detector on the first floor. That was the floor where the fire began, Commissioner Nigro said.

The 12 confirmed fatalities made the fire the deadliest since an inferno at the Happy Land social club — less than a mile from Thursday’s blaze — killed 87 people in 1990. It surpassed the toll from a fire a decade ago, in March 2007, when an overheated cord to a space heater caused a fire that tore through a four-story house in the Bronx and killed 10 people, nine of them children.

Elected officials — including Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo; Ruben Diaz Jr., the Bronx borough president; and Rafael Salamanca Jr., the neighborhood’s City Council member — took to Twitter late Thursday to offer their condolences. Mr. Cuomo said he was “closely monitoring” the situation.

Kwabena Mensah, 62, said he had visited four hospitals looking for his son, Emmanuel Mensah, who lives on the third floor of the building. Six others who live in the apartment evacuated safely and were gathered at the elder Mr. Mensah’s home nearby, he said, but his son was nowhere to be found.

Emmanuel, 28, was stationed in Virginia with the Army and had returned to the Bronx just a week ago for the holidays.

At Prospect Avenue and East 187th Street, Kenneth Kodua stood in a corner store, staring in disbelief at the plastic takeout bag in his hand. He had gone to a nearby restaurant to buy food, he said, telling his roommate he would be back soon. When he returned 20 minutes later, firefighters had swarmed the building and told him he could not enter.

“Just 20 minutes. I told my roommate I’m going to buy food. Within 20 minutes …” he said, trailing off.

Mr. Kodua, 37, said he had called his roommate more than a dozen times, to no avail.

“The phone is ringing, but nothing,” he said, struggling to form words, his eyes glazed. He turned away, toward a deli shelf, tapping his hand on cans of cat food.

“Oh my God,” he repeated to himself. “Oh my God.”


Thursday, December 28, 201

BELMONT, Bronx (WABC) -- At least 12 people were killed, including at least one baby, in a large apartment building fire in the Bronx on Thursday night.

The 5-alarm fire broke out just before 7 p.m. on Prospect Avenue near East 187 St. on the first floor of the five-story building. The flames quickly spread up to the fifth floor. The building is described as "non-fireproof" and is highly combustible.

PHOTOS from the scene:

More than 170 firefighters responded to the scene.

The identities of the victims have not yet been released, although Mayor Bill de Blasio said one of the victims is as young as 1 year old. The oldest victim is believed to be over the age of 50. Three of the victims are members of the same family.

"They were burned, even little kids on the stretchers, burned," a resident said.

There are also several other people seriously injured, four are said to be in critical condition. Two people were rescued from the fire and are expected to survive.

The patients were taken to Jacobi Medical Center and St. Barnabas Hospital.

The fire was brought under control just after 9 p.m. The scene is described as having a very heavy smoke condition. The victims perished on every floor of the building.

"In a department that's certainly no stranger to tragedy we're shocked by this loss," FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

The Office of Emergency Management and the MTA are sending buses to the location to accommodate residents that have been evacuated from the building.

The mayor quickly arrived at the scene to receive a briefing on the tragedy.

"This is the worst fire tragedy we have seen in this city in at least a quarter century," Mayor de Blasio said during a press conference at the scene. "Based on the information we have now, this will rank as one of the worst losses of life to a fire in many, many years."

Officials give update on tragic Bronx fire that left at least 12 people dead.

Governor Andrew Cuomo also expressed his sympathy for the victims Thursday night.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Zach Hess, 25, construction worker with JK Excavating buried alive more than 25 feet below ground after utility trench collapse in The Woodlands at Morrow, a new housing development off Morrow-Woodville Road/Ohio Route 24 being built by Ryan Homes

Zach Hess, 25, construction worker with JK Excavating buried alive more than 25 feet below ground after utility trench collapse in The Woodlands at Morrow, a new housing development off Morrow-Woodville Road/Ohio Route 24 being built by Ryan Homes

MASON, Ohio —

The Mason man killed in a trench collapse in Morrow on Thursday is being remembered for the life he lived.

Zach Hess, 25, was killed at a work site in the Woodlands at Morrow subdivision. He was working in a trench when it caved in, burying him about 25 feet underground.

Hess' mother, Cindy Hess, says her son was a sweet boy who grew up into a handsome man with a beautiful spirit.

Cindy Hess said he loved his family and loved his job. She said he took great pride in his work.

Hess worked for JK Excavating and Utilities. According to public records released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, JK Excavating was cited in 2014 for three "serious" trench violations.

The Mason-based company had to pay a $5,850 penalty.

The violations stemmed from a work site on Shadowcreek Court in Hamilton.

OSHA documents state, "On or about July 16, 2014, an employee was observed working in an excavation that was measured to be 7' in depth by 6' in width that had no suitable means of access/egress located within 25' of the work area within the excavation."

According to OSHA, "An employee was working in the bottom of an open excavation measured to be approximately 7' in depth while being exposed to materials and equipment falling into the excavation on top of them, posing a crushing/struck-by hazard."

Documents also stated that an employee was working in the excavation "without adequate protection against cave-ins, in that the walls of the excavation were not properly sloped, shored, benched or otherwise adequately protected against collapse."

The Morrow investigation could take months to complete.

Daniel Wood, JK Excavating safety specialist, released the following statement:

"On behalf of JK Excavating, on Thursday December 28 we did not just lose an employee in this tragic incident, we lost a family member! Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with the Hess and Bare family. We are working directly with the Department of Labor (OSHA) on this fact finding tragic incident. We have obtained the services of a third party Safety Consultant to lead JK Excavating in our own internal root cause investigation to this horrific incident that has deeply affected our JK Excavating family. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the first responders to this incident and all the mutual aid efforts to perform this unfortunate recovery!"

Although it will be a difficult road for the Hess' family, his mother said she is comforted by the outpouring of love for her son.

Hess' uncle Jim Fish said Zach Hess' father and step-mother, Todd and Cathy Hess, are also heartbroken tonight as are his siblings. Fish said everyone is thankful for the support and prayers the family is receiving. 

Hopefully, JK Excavating, its owner(s) and the home builder(s) all pay dearly for this tragedy.  This will not bring back Zach Hess, but at least these individuals need to be punished so that we save other workers' lives.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation into Thursday's fatal Warren County trench collapse.

Zachary Hess, 25, of Mason, died Thursday when a trench collapsed at 5559 Anne Marie Drive in Morrow.

Warren County officials said the construction worker was buried up to his head when a 30-foot trench, which was near a new home foundation, collapsed.

"It's a process that you think you're there and then all of the sudden something else collapses and I hate to use the word collapse — but fills in around. So, you have to start excavating again to try to safely get this young man out.," Chief Investigator Doyle Burke said Thursday.

Officials said it took crews about 11 hours to recover his body.

The sheriff's office said he worked with JK Excavating.

Compliance officers were at the scene Friday talking to potential witnesses and the employer, trying to figure out what happened and whether the employer was using proper trenching equipment to prevent such incidents.

The investigation could take up to six months.



A worker died when a trench collapsed in a Morrow neighborhood Thursday afternoon, a spokesperson from the Warren County Sheriff's Office confirmed.

A JK Excavating employee was trapped in the trench at the Woodlands at Morrow neighborhood around 12:05 p.m. Thursday, according to dispatchers.

Approximately 150 first responders from several jurisdictions worked for hours to rescue the worker. Lt. John Faine said they could see the person when they first arrived on scene, but the worker was quickly swallowed by dirt.  The trench was dug out for installing the utilities for the new development.

“Initially we had a little bit of sight of the victim there, and just in the short time, the hole continued to fall in more and actually completely bury the victim even more," Faine said.

Just before 3 p.m., Faine said the mission is now, officially, a mission to recover the deceased person's body. Faine estimated the worker is buried about 25 to 30 feet, and he said the recovery process will be "lengthy" and could take several hours.

Hamilton County Urban Search and Rescue arrived at the scene just after 1:15 p.m.

Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the incident.



2:30 P.M. UPDATE: Officials say the worker who was buried in the collapsed trench has died. A recovery effort is underway to retrieve the body that is believed to be buried 25 feet below the surface.

Original 1:52 P.M.: First responders from several agencies are working to rescue a person from a trench collapse in Morrow.

The Hamilton County Urban Search and Rescue team as well as fire departments and other first responders have converged on the neighborhood.

The collapse was reported at about 12:30 p.m. in the 5500 block of Anne Marie Drive. The trench is in The Woodlands at Morrow, a new housing development off Morrow-Woodville Road/Ohio Route 24.

Police have not released any more information.

The construction at Anne Marie Drive is by the homebuilder Ryan Homes. Ryan Homes is owned by NVR, Inc. NVR, Inc. operates in two business segments: homebuilding and mortgage banking. The homebuilding unit sells and constructs homes under the Ryan Homes, NVHomes and Heartland Homes brands. As a corporate entity, NVR, Inc. provides various support functions for each of its sub-entities. These include sales and marketing support, vital human resource specialists, and an advanced information technology department, which provide a network of resources utilized by NVR, Inc. holdings.

NVR, Inc. is one of America’s leading homebuilders. The Company serves homebuyers in twenty-nine metropolitan areas in fourteen states, including, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Florida, Delaware, West Virginia and New Jersey, as well as Washington, D.C. 


One person dead in Morrow trench collapse, Warren County officials say 

December 28, 2017 

WCPO Digital Team

Salem Township, Ohio -- 

One person died when a trench collapsed in a Morrow neighborhood Thursday afternoon, a spokesperson from the Warren County Sheriff's Office confirmed.

A trench in the Woodlands at Morrow neighborhood collapsed around 12:05 p.m. Thursday, according to dispatchers.

Construction crews were at the scene of the trench on Anne Marie Drive when it collapsed, as shown in Chopper 9's aerial video. The equipment and trucks at the scene say "JK Excavating."

Hamilton County Urban Search and Rescue arrived at the scene just after 1:15 p.m.

Just before 3 p.m., Lt. John Faine said the mission is now, officially, a mission to recover the deceased person's body.

Lumber mill worker Jeffrey M. Midstokke, 55, died as he was working on a debarker machine at the Guy Bennett Lumber Co. mill near Clarkston, WA when he fell 16 feet onto a chain conveyor system

Coroner finds port of Wilma mill worker died of head, neck injuries

PORT OF WILMA, WA - The 55-year-old Peck man who died in an industrial accident at Guy Bennett Lumber at the Port of Wilma suffered massive head and neck injuries, according to the Whitman County coroner.

Jeffrey Midstokke "fell approximately 16 feet from the area of debarker to a chain conveyor system, striking his head, transporting the decedent along the conveyor system until turned off by a metal detector," according to the unofficial death record provided by coroner Peter J. Martin.

Martin determined the manner of death was accidental. The incident occurred Dec. 20. Midstokke was pronounced dead at the scene when emergency crews arrived.

A worker fell to his death last week at a lumber mill near Clarkston.

Local authorities reported Jeffrey M. Midstokke, 55, was working on a debarker machine at the Guy Bennett Lumber Co. mill when he fell on the morning of Dec. 20.

A post-autopsy report from the Whitman County coroner said Midstokke fell about 16 feet onto a “chain conveyor system,” which transported his body until the system was automatically shut down by a metal detector – a safety feature designed to prevent saw blades from hitting errant nails and metal fragments in pieces of wood.

The coroner’s report said Midstokke fell at 10:35 a.m. and died almost immediately of head and spine injuries. It lists the manner of death as an accident.

Midstokke was married and had lived in Peck, Idaho, for nine years.

Elaine Fischer, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Labor and Industries, said the agency is conducting an investigation into the incident that could take several months.

“It can take a while when it involves a fatality,” Fischer said.

Founded in 1939, Bennett Lumber owns two mills – one in Princeton, Idaho, and one in the Port of Wilma on the Snake River, just across from Clarkston.

A statement on the company’s website said the “ultramodern” Clarkston facility, where Midstokke died, went into operation in the early 1990s. Labor and Industries records say the mill employs 76 to 100 workers.

Fischer said the agency hasn’t had a reason to conduct a safety inspection there in at least a decade.

The mill’s general manager, Mitch Dimke, did not respond to a message seeking comment on Wednesday.

This is at least the second fatal accident at an Inland Northwest lumber mill in recent months. In September, 45-year-old Robert Billingsley was fatally injured while clearing a piece of wood from a machine at Merritt Brothers Lumber Co. in Athol.

That incident is under investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.