Workers rescued in deadly water tower accident 150 feet over Porter

Saturday, July 7, 2018
Worker killed in water tower accident in Porter
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Firefighters were able to rescue three men from the damaged water tower, but a fourth man died in the accident at 150 feet in the air.

PORTER, Texas (KTRK) -- One hundred and fifty feet in the air, four construction workers worked atop a water tower being built in Porter, Texas.

Karen Reed says she was just having her coffee.

"I heard a metal on metal noise, a boom. When I heard it I looked at my son who lives next door and said, 'baby, that can't be good,'" Reed said.

A steel panel being lifted into the air came crashing into the open water tank as four workers were inside.

Eyewitnesses say they could see the workers scrambling at the site, not knowing if the workers up above were ok.

Porter's Assistant Fire Chief says the existing equipment was helpful in the rescue mission.

"With the crane being up there it did assist us instead of having to do rigs up to 150 feet we were able to use the crane to get to the top," Assistant Chief Cleave Pamphile said.

Once inside, they lowered two workers safely, a third was injured and taken to Conroe Regional Hospital, but the fourth man was unresponsive. He died at the scene.

Investigators say the work was contracted to Phoenix Fabricators. According to the company website, the Avon, Indiana-based company has constructed more than 5,000 water towers across the country.

OSHA inspectors arrived on scene to investigate what caused the accident. Meanwhile, the people of Porter say they are thinking of the family of the man who was working one very tough job.

The worker's name has not yet been released. Eyewitness News has made repeated requests for a response from Phoenix Fabricators but has not received one yet.

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