Worker Falls 20 Feet at Power Plant

Posted April 27, 2005 at 1:33pm

The D.C Fire Department rescued an injured construction worker Wednesday afternoon after the man fell onto the roof of the Capitol Power Plant.

According to department spokesman Alan Etter, the 53-year-old construction worker was working at a height of approximately 50 feet when he fell headfirst onto the roof of the plant nearly 20 feet below.

Although the worker was equipped with a hard hat, Etter said the man sustained significant injuries.

“He had a serious head injury and possibly neck injuries,” Etter said.

An Architect of the Capitol official reported, however, that the worker sustained only “minor injuries” and was taken to a local hospital as a precautionary measure.

In order to reach the worker, the D.C. Fire Department was required to perform a “high angle” rescue, Etter said. The emergency workers made use of a construction crane already on the site to lift the injured man from the building in a Stokes Basket, a piece of equipment used to immobilize injured people moved from elevated locations.

A Capitol Police spokeswoman, who declined to identify the injured man, said the incident occurred shortly before 1 p.m.

The Capitol Power Plant, which provides heat and chilled water to the Congressional complex as well as the Supreme Court and other facilities, is currently undergoing an expansion that will add 16,500 square feet to the facility’s West Refrigeration Plant.

The plant is located near the House office buildings at the corner of New Jersey Avenue and E Street Southeast.

— Jennifer Yachnin