Streamwood, Illinois – A 22-year-old Gurnee construction worker Brett Morrow died while installing a fiberglass liner in a sewer pipe that prevents leaks. The worker was fatally injured after being hit by a large horizontal pipe that blocked access of others to help the victim. Immediately after the accident, the injured worker communicated with others at the scene but was found unresponsive by emergency responders when they arrived.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is investigating the incident that trapped the injured victim about 25 feet into the pipe, making it difficult for rescuers to reach him to provide care. The sewer pipe liner became crumpled and hardened, which blocked access to Morrow. Rescuers from the Streamwood Fired Department cut the liner apart to successfully pull the victim out almost four hours after arriving at the construction site.
The village’s Fire Chief Chris Clark stated that “we were certainly hopeful that he would be viable. We operated as if it would be a rescue the entire time. It wasn’t until we had him removed that we were able to determine he was deceased.” The Fire Chief said that “it took some time to cut the lining material away so that technicians could get to the patient. Then we were able to remove the patient. It is very challenging, because it’s a very small space to work in, and there was a lot of safety equipment.”