Sparrows Point accident kills steel worker

October 02, 1991|By Roger Twigg

A Bethlehem Steel Corp. employee was killed yesterday in an accident at the Sparrows Point plant, according to company officials.

It was the second fatal industrial accident at the plant since Aug. 21, when an employee was killed while operating a lathe, and the 11th since 1982.

In yesterday's accident, David W. Hamlett, 63, of the 5000 block of East Preston Street was crushed between a tractor and a stationary roll of steel. Mr. Hamlett was flown by state police medevac helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was declared dead on arrival, according to William Gignac, a company spokesman.

The accident occurred about 8 a.m. as Mr. Hamlett, a 38-year employee of the company, worked as a coil tracer, responsible for cataloging and storing supplies of steel coils.

Mr. Gignac said yesterday's accident was being reviewed by a team of investigators that includes company and union representatives. Representatives of the United Steelworkers union's Local 2609 could not be reached for comment last night.

Milton Saul, an assistant commissioner of the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health agency, declined to comment on either the accident or Bethlehem's safety record.

On Aug. 21, another steel worker, Samuel Garcia, 33, was killed while operating a large, high-speed industrial lathe, according to company officials. That fatal accident is also under investigation by MOSH.

The 11 employee deaths at the plant since 1982 have resulted from 27 accidents that also led to hospitalization of 25 people, according to the safety agency.

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