Posted On: June 24, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Chicago Slip and Fall Work Accident: Worker Dies After Falling into Manhole

A Chicago Park District employee was killed after he slipped and fell into a manhole. William Daniels III was in Mann Park doing maintenance work last week on the wading pool when he appears to have opened a drain, slipped, and fell in. He was partially submerged in the drain after he was struck by a rush of water. Someone saw him leaning into the manhole and contacted 911.

Firefighters arrived to rescue Daniels, who was in cardiac arrest by the time they arrived. Daniels, 59, was pronounced dead at St. Margaret’s hospital. Tests will be conducted to determine if he died from drowning.

Manhole Accidents
Manhole accidents can cause serious injuries to workers. Just this April, two contract workers collapsed while in a manhole. One of the workers died. Investigators have said that the air in the manhole contained 13% oxygen. Less than 16% oxygen in the atmosphere is considered very dangerous. The deadly work accident happened just one block away from where a worker had to be rescued from another manhole.

Just last month, a judge issued an order that allowed family workers of two workers that died in a manhole accident to move forward with their wrongful death lawsuit against Boyd Gaming, the owner of the hotel-casino where the tragic work accident happened. Boyd supervisors were accused of ordering the employees to go into the manhole even though they allegedly knew it could prove fatal. A third worker also sustained serious injuries during the work accident.

In October, a Consolidated Edison worker that was splicing cable was killed in a manhole blast. In 2003, a construction worker broke his leg while working in a manhole.

Sewer death: Autopsy set for Park District worker who died, Chicago Tribune, June 24, 2009

Chicago Park District employee drowns in catch basin, Chicago Sun-Times, June 16, 2009

Suit in Orleans worker deaths allowed to proceed,, May 1, 2009

Worker dies while in manhole,, April 24, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Chicago Park District

Illinois Industrial Commission

An experienced Chicago, Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer can make sure that you receive all the benefits that you are owed. Our Chicago personal injury law firm can also investigate your case to determine whether third parties can be held liable for the work accident.

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