Worker killed in TX water tower accident

Karen Reed was having her morning coffee when she heard it.

“I heard a metal-on-metal noise, a boom,” Reed said. “When I heard it, I looked at my son, who lives next door, and said, ‘Baby, that can’t be good.'”

A steel panel being lifted into the air had come crashing into an open water tank while four workers were inside.

Eyewitnesses said they could see the workers scrambling at the site, not knowing if the men above were OK.

Cleave Pamphile, the assistant chief of the Porter Fire Department, said the equipment already at the site was helpful in the rescue mission that followed.

“With the crane being up there, it did assist us,” Pamphile said. “Instead of having to do rigs up to 150 feet, we were able to use the crane to get to the top.”

Rescuers lowered two workers to safety. A third worker was injured, and he was taken to a regional hospital.

But the fourth man was unresponsive. He died at the scene.

Investigators said the work was contracted to Phoenix Fabricators. According to its website, the company has constructed more than 5,000 water towers across the country.

OSHA inspectors arrived on the scene to investigate what caused the accident.

The people of Porter said they were thinking of the family of the man who died while working a very tough job.