Austin, TX – A worker was killed when a concrete slab weighing 30,000 to 40,000 pounds fell on him at a construction site for an apartment complex in Southeast Austin.
Emergency crews responded to reports of a man trapped under a slab just inside a fenced-off site at Wickersham Lane and Cromwell Circle. Rescuers initially were unable to get to the victim, who was pinned under the slab as it leaned against a tractor-trailer sitting under a crane.
Firefighters got to work with sledgehammers, drills and other tools to cut away at the slab and free the man, but when they finally reached him, he was dead.
Austin Fire Department Division Chief Palmer Buck said the slab was a preformed concrete panel for a parking garage being built on the site. Exactly how the man became trapped under the slab wasn’t immediately known.
Authorities said the construction was on hold while investigators sorted through the rubble.
Austin police and federal investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will look into the deadly incident.
OSHA statistics show that more than 4,500 workers die on the job each year. From Jan. 12 through April 27, the agency recorded more than 70 worker deaths in Texas, according to online records.