Pinellas News

Contract worker falls to death at St. Pete water plant

ST. PETERSBURG - A maintenance worker fell to his death today while working at the city’s Northwest Water Treatment Plant. St. Pete Fire Rescue received a 911 call from the plant, at 7500 26th Ave. N., at 11:15 a.m., according to fire department spokesman Lt. Joel Granata. Workers were performing maintenance on the inside wall of an aerator tank that is approximately 250 feet long and 70 feet wide when the man fell 30 feet off a lift, Granata said. The man was already in cardiac arrest by the time firefighters arrived, and they performed CPR on him until they concluded he could not survive his injuries, Granata said. The man died from “unsurvivable trauma,” though authorities have not determined a cause of death. The worker was a subcontractor and not a city employee, Granata said. Authorities have not released his name because his family has not yet been notified of his death.
The circumstances leading up to the fall, including whether the man was wearing a harness and whether proper safety protocol was being followed, are under investigation, Granata said. The fire department and medical examiner is at the water plant now, and firefighters are using a ladder truck to retrieve the man’s body from the water tank. The water treatment plant remains operational. The part of the tank where the man was working had already been drained for maintenance.
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