A construction worker died after falling into a sewer at a work site in northeast Austin. The man was working on QuikTrip on East Parmer Lane, near McCallen Driveway, when he fell into an open hatch.
“My understanding is that the construction crew was working in and around that, and I think it was open on purpose,” said Officer Michael Bullock of the Austin Police Department.
According to an Austin Fire Department official, the man was swept into an 18-inch pipe by “rapid” sewage water.
Austin firefighters, using a rope system, were lowered into various manholes as they attempted to locate the man. Officials say they had to “air test” before the firefighters were taken down, although they still wore oxygen tanks as a precaution.
Their research was directed by Austin Water.
Ultimately, Austin Water brought robotic equipment to the research.
Around 6:15 p.m., the man’s body was found at the Water Treatment Plant and Nat Creek in East Austin. The job site and treatment plant are about eleven miles away using roads.
Officials were unsure of the exact distance through the sewage system on Tuesday night.
On Tuesday evening, Austin Police were investigating, although Bullock said there was nothing “fishy” about the man’s death. He said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will also investigate the workplace accident.