Worker dies after being trapped in sewer pipe in Streamwood

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - A construction worker who got trapped in a sewer pipe died Wednesday evening in northwest suburban Streamwood.

Firefighters responded at 6:18 p.m. to the intersection of Park Boulevard and Parkside Circle, where a construction crew was installing a lining in the sanitary sewer under Park, according to the Streamwood Fire Department.

Streamwood Firefighter/Confined Space Technicians entered the 20-foot deep manhole to search for the trapped worker, fire officials said.

Firefighters crawled down a 20-inch wide pipe and, although they could see the worker’s boots, they could not reach him because “a large quantity of hardened lining material was blocking the pipe,” fire officials said. They used saws to cut the blockage away, “little by little,” and eventually cleared a path.

Shortly after 10 p.m., they reached the worker about 20 feet north of the manhole and pulled him to the surface, fire officials said.

The worker, identified as 22-year-old Brett Morrow of north suburban Gurnee, was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:32 p.m., according to fire officials and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy Thursday did not rule on his cause and manner of death pending further investigation.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an inspection into the incident, according to OSHA spokesman Scott Allen. The man was working for Benchmark Construction.

Streamwood police are also investigating.

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