- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

BRISTOL, Pa. (AP) - A 125-foot silo containing concrete mix collapsed at a suburban Philadelphia shipping port Thursday morning, trapping a worker under tons of steel and stony granules.

After hours combing through the debris with search dogs and pinging the man’s cellphone, emergency crews presumed the man was dead.

“At this point we have made every effort we can to go through and search for the victim,” said Edgely Fire Chief Carl Pierce, reclassifying the rescue as a recovery effort.

Authorities didn’t release the man’s name, and said the cause of the collapse was under investigation.

Family members who arrived at the Riverside Industrial Complex in Bristol Township after the worker failed to come home identified him as Anthony Gabriele.

Rescue and recovery workers brought in cranes and planned to continue removing the debris until they recover the body, said Bristol Township Emergency Management Director Kevin Dippolito.

The silo is part of a complex of facilities used to store scrap steel, gypsum, coal, grain, salt, fertilizer and other materials off loaded from cargo ships docking at an adjacent deep-water port on the Delaware River.

Bristol Township police say a patrol officer discovered the collapse around 1 a.m. after noticing the silo’s lights were off and a snow-like powder hung in the air.

Officials with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration said the agency is investigating. The agency cited the complex’s owner, Silvi Group, in 2012 for allowing a barge’s aerial lift to be used in a prohibited fashion.

Silvi Group did not immediately respond Thursday to a message seeking comment.

Dr. David Jaslow, medical director for Bucks County’s technical rescue team, said rescuers faced a nightmare scenario that combined the treachery of a building collapse with tons of powder from a nearly full silo rushing down and engulfing everything in its path.

He said the silo fell in such a way that it apparently didn’t leave any air pockets that would have allowed the worker to breathe. Other factors, including 10-degree temperatures that would lead to hypothermia, also made the worker’s survival unlikely, he said.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide