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Man rescued from silo of cement powder; Worker trapped at R.J. Paquette Concrete yard.

Byline: Steven H. Foskett Jr.

HOLDEN - A worker for the R.J. Paquette Concrete yard on Wachusett Street was rescued yesterday after he became trapped in a 50-foot silo of cement powder.

Emergency personnel arrived at 1395 Wachusett St. around 2 p.m. to find the worker buried up to his chest in cement powder, about 30 feet from the bottom of the silo, according to the Fire Department.

A ladder firetruck brought firefighters and paramedics to the top.

They went into the silo and gave the man oxygen while keeping him from sinking farther into the silo.

After he was stabilized, workers removed some of the concrete from the bottom of the silo, reducing the material surrounding him. They then raised him to the top of the silo using specialized confined-space equipment.

He was then lowered to the ground by the ladder truck, and was evaluated by West Boylston paramedics, according to the Fire Department.

Because they weren't sure of the extent of his injuries, and because the extrication took so much time, emergency personnel called a rescue helicopter from Hartford to take the man to UMass Memorial Medical Center - University Campus in Worcester.

The Fire Department did not identify the victim, and did not elaborate on the extent of his injuries.

Mutual aid was provided at the scene by Paxton and Sterling ambulances, and West Boylston ambulance and heavy rescue, the Fire Department said.

Elizabeth Comeau, whose Elmwood Avenue property abuts what she described as a gravel pit, said she heard yelling some time early yesterday afternoon.

"I have no idea what's going on," she said. "I was at home, I heard some yelling back there, and I didn't think anything of it."

She said that in the fall and winter, she can see more of what's going on at the gravel pit, but the vegetation in the summer blocks most of her view of the pit.

ART: PHOTOS

CUTLINE: (1) Firefighters and staff of R.J. Paquette Concrete tend to a worker after he was pulled from the cement silo yesterday afternoon. He is sitting up after his ordeal. (2) The worker is taken down by a fire department ladder truck from the silo's platform. He was then taken by helicopter to UMass Memorial Medical Center - University Campus in Worcester to be further evaluated.

PHOTOG: T&G Staff Photos/TOM RETTIG
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jul 13, 2012
Words:394
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