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Worker at cement plant injured after drilling tool fell on him

Man taken to hospital and expected to make full recovery

March 17, 2011|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

A worker at the Holcim (US) Inc. cement plant on Security Road was injured Thursday afternoon when a drilling tool fell on him in a quarry where workers have been pumping out water, officials said.

The man was taken to Meritus Medical Center near Hagerstown with a collapsed lung and is expected to make a full recovery, officials said.

Robin DeCarlo, spokeswoman for Holcim (US) Inc., said the worker was conscious, speaking and alert after the accident.

The accident occurred when a "drill steel" came lose from a drill, according to Amy Louviere, a spokeswoman for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.

The drill steel is like a drill bit, with sections of it about 10- to 12-feet long, said Jason Eckstine, chief of the Longmeadow Volunteer Fire Co.

The man was working on a "shelf" in the quarry at the time, Eckstine said.

There is water in the quarry which workers have been pumping out using commercial pumps, according to Eckstine and DeCarlo.

DeCarlo said she was not sure how the injured worker was using the drill steel.

She said she could not release the man's name.

"It's my understanding he's a long-time employee," DeCarlo said.

Louviere said her agency issued an order shutting down at least the site where the accident occurred so the federal mine agency can investigate the accident.

DeCarlo said her company will also investigate the mishap, which was first reported to 911 about 12:39 p.m.

Holcim, which makes cement at the Hagerstown-area plant, mines limestone there for that purpose, DeCarlo said.

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