Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Father and son died in toxic sewer pit

From the Times Ledger:

A father and son were killed Monday afternoon along with another man who was working with them after they all fell into a well containing toxic gas at a Jamaica recycling plant, authorities said.

Harel Dahan, 23, who worked for the South Ozone Park-based S. Dahan Inc. sewer specialists, was cleaning out the 18-foot-deep hole at a Royal Waste Services recycling center on 172-08 Douglas Ave. with his crew around 2:30 p.m. when he fell in, according to police.

Dahan’s 53-year-old father, Shalom, who founded and owned the company, and Rene Francisco Rivas, 53, who worked for Royal, went down the hole on a ladder to try to rescue their fallen co-worker, but were overcome by hydrogen sulfide fumes, the police said.

A firefighter equipped with a breathing apparatus went into the hole and brought the men out half an hour later, but they were all pronounced dead at the scene, according to FDNY Assistant Chief John Sudnick.


georgetheatheist said...

This event and the tragic death of Luigi Cerrone reminds me of the sewage scene in the controversial novel "The Painted Bird" by Jerzy Kosinski. Have any of you read it?

Anonymous said...

There is no excuse for this kind of tragedy. American Society of Civil Engineers has given professional seminars in enclosed space safety for years because this is such a common problem.

Surely the owners of this waste pit could have studied acceptable safety protocols and taken all reasonable precautions such as providing respirators if necessary and warning others to call emergency services, rather than attempting rescue themselves.

Because of the courage of two good men, there are three deaths instead of one. Because of the greed of management, there are three deaths instead of none.