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Engineer Killed and Rig Operator Injured in Heavy Equipment Accident


It happened on a hot July night last summer. On a construction site in the University City section of Philadelphia, a 55-year-old engineer named Kirankumar Mistry came to inspect the foundation for a pedestrian bridge project when a drilling rig toppled over and crushed him. The drilling company has been in operation since 1955, and this was their first fatal accident.

Accidents can happen anywhere and anytime. Add in the dangers of a construction site and accidents seem imminent. For more than two decades, the Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys at Gross & Kenny, LLP have fought for the fair treatment of those injured in workplace accidents.

A Tragic Summer Night

Also injured in the accident was the rig operator for Cook Drilling, who suffered injuries to his hand and lower body. The operator had 20 years of experience but had only been employed by Cook Drilling for a couple of months at the time of the accident.

According to fire officials, the drilling rig was being used to lift heavy equipment from a tractor-trailer to the worksite when the rig fell away from the structure and into a high traffic area. Because it was later in the day, approximately 8:30 p.m., Mistry was the only one in the area and became trapped underneath the rig. It took roughly 15 minutes to remove him.

Mistry, a senior project manager and geotechnical engineer at the Langan engineering firm, was pronounced dead at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. The rig operator was also taken to the hospital for his injuries and was reported to have been in a “state of shock.”

The Department of Licenses and Inspections was called in to investigate after firefighters discovered the equipment had a fuel leak. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are currently investigating and instructing on additional employee training and site safety.

The drilling rig was dismantled and removed from the scene for further investigation.

A Glance at the Statistics

According to the latest reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pennsylvania had a total of 154 fatal work injuries. This number was not only down from the previous year, but it was also the lowest total in modern reporting. Fatal occupational injuries saw a high of 354 in 1994.

More than 5,000 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2019, a slight increase from 2018’s number. 2019’s total of 5,333 fatal occupational injuries represents the largest annual number since 2007, and the number is predicted to increase in 2020 and 2021 to account for COVID-19’s impact on essential workers.

When should I contact a lawyer?

Heavy equipment is essential for most daily operations on construction sites, and every year in Pennsylvania, thousands of workers are injured, and hundreds die in workplace accidents, much involving heavy equipment. The massive weight of these machines often results in instant fatalities.

If you or a loved one has been injured or worse in a workplace accident, you are the sole focus of the Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys at Gross & Kenny, LLP. Our skilled team can manage your legal needs while you and your family concentrate on recovering. Contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 267-589-0090.

Personal Injury Attorney Philadelphia | Gross & Kenny, LLP

Personal Injury Attorney Philadelphia | Gross & Kenny, LLP
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