Man Killed In Cave-in At Construction Site

Crofton Project Workers' Rescue Unsuccessful

March 20, 1991|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

A man laying sewer and water pipes to a home being built in Crofton Village was killed yesterday afternoon when the hole in which he was working collapsed.

Brian Jones Para, 21, of the 1700 block ReadingStreet, Crofton, was declared dead when police arrived at 12:15 p.m.It took firefighters more than an hour to dig Para's body out of thehole.

Police spokesman V. Richard Molloy said Para, who works for Razzano Plumbing and Heating Co. in Davidsonville, was helping install pipes in a ditch leading to a new home in the 2300 block of Putnam Lane.

Molloy said that Para was standing at the bottom of the 12-foot-deep hole near the road when it caved in. "He was pretty much buried up to his chest, if not more," said Lt. Gary Sheckells, a fire department spokesman.

Bill Bernhardt, project manager for the Richards Group of Washington, a Virginia-based development firm building the 100single-family homes in Crofton Village, said Para "was not authorized" to go into the hole, which was not completely dug.

Two men who were doing masonry work on a house across the street from the accident, said they tried to pull Para to safety, but could not get to him in time.

They said a county inspector drove to the scene and apparently heard Para scream. "I heard the inspector yell 'Man in the hole,come help me,' " said Bernard Wright, who works for D & D Masonry Contractors in Pasadena.

"We started digging," said Wright, adding that Para's head was visible. "We dug him out as far as we could. He was coughing a lot and then he gasped. He did that two or three times and that was the last breath we saw."

Molloy said police do not know exactly how Para died. He said the State Medical Examiner's officewill perform an autopsy today.

Firefighters used a backhoe to first dig out most the hole and then shoveled out dirt around Para's body. Fearing another cave-in, they brought in steel planks and vices tosecure the dirt walls.

Crofton Village, a new development consisting of at least 100 single-family homes located adjacent to Crofton Mews off of Johns Hopkins Lane, has been under construction since latelast year. Some homes are already occupied.

"Cave-ins like this are real similar," said Tim Sasser, the project superintendent workingfor the Richardson Group. "There is a lot of loose dirt and loose gravel.

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