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Train injures Maryland Metals worker

June 03, 1998|By BRENDAN KIRBY

A Maryland Metals employee was hurt Tuesday in an accident involving a train car he was helping to weigh.

Gene Diehl, 23, of Hagerstown, was taken to Washington County Hospital where he was listed in fair condition Tuesday evening.

Angie Davis, assistant chief of Community Rescue Service, said Diehl was conscious when rescue workers arrived at the plant on Antietam Drive.

"Our best guess is that he was run over by the train," she said. "He's got some serious and some not-so-serious injuries."

Diehl and co-worker Steve Bloyer were weighing the last of four empty train cars at about 1:30 p.m. when Diehl was injured.

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To weigh the cars, workers push them onto a scale embedded in the tracks and record the weight of cars when they are empty and when they are full.

"This is hard," Bloyer said. "This is my best friend."

Bloyer said he does not know what caused the car to move.

"Somehow he got drug under," he said. "I didn't see anything. It was just so fast. He kept screaming 'Oh, my God.'"

Bloyer said Diehl came up holding his arm.

"Blood was flowing everywhere," he said.

Bloyer said he called for help as his friend fell to the ground. Rescue workers arrived within minutes.

Bloyer said he was hired about a year ago, shortly before Diehl joined the company. He said their friendship started on the job and then "grew real good. We started hanging out together."

Maryland Metals, with operations on Antietam Drive and Mitchell Avenue, salvages steel and scrap metals. It employs 42 people, according to the 1997 edition of the Business & Industry Directory.

Robert M. Kerstein, president of the company, said the firm hauls scrap metal by truck into the plant and converts it into usable metal for steel mills. He said the product is shipped by rail and truck.

Kerstein said Tuesday's accident was the first serious incident he could remember in his 35 years.

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