One construction worker died and another was injured on Wednesday while the two were working on a new transmission line in New Prague, Minn.
Initial reports indicate the workers were being lowered by crane into a 50-ft hole dug for a power pole when a strap suspending the two snapped.
According to authorities, Robert Fenstermacher, 28, of Oologah, Okla, died on the scene from head injuries while Jeremy Moye, 37, of Machesney, Ill., was taken to Mayo One Hospital in New Prague, where he was treated for injuries to his extremities.
Both men were employed by Aldridge Electric., a Liberyville, Ill.-based contractor working on CapX2020, a $1.7-billion initiative by several Midwest utilities to expand the region's transmission grid.
A spokesman for CapX2020 utility Great River Energy, Maple Grove, Minn. told reporters the accident occurred while workers were preparing to pour concrete into the hole to support a 140-ft-high power pole. Additional foundation work has been suspended for a week while the Scott County Sheriff's Office and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigate the accident.
Along with the sheriff's office, OSHA officials and representatives of Aldridge Electric were at the project site Wednesday afternoon.
Aldridge Corporate Risk Manager Jeff Arnold told reporters, “The company feels horribly about this accident. We are trying to find out exactly what happened. That's why I'm here.”
“The CapX2020 utilities offer condolences to the deceased worker's family, friends and colleagues,” CapX2020 indicated in a statement. “CapX2020 utilities are investigating the incident and cooperating with authorities in their investigation