- Associated Press - Thursday, March 24, 2011

HOUSTON (AP) - NASA says there were no safety gear malfunctions in last week’s death of a launch pad worker.

The engineer fell to his death March 14 from the shuttle launch pad at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. Endeavour was being prepped for an April liftoff.

NASA said the worker wasn’t wearing a safety harness, nor was he required to be wearing one.

Shuttle program manager John Shannon said in Houston on Thursday that no fall-protection devices failed. And he added that there is no evidence of foul play. The investigation continues.

United Space Alliance employee James Vanover was killed in the fall. The 53-year-old and about to be laid off because the shuttle program is ending.

Vanover was checking for debris on the pad, nearly 200 feet up, when he fell.



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