A man working on a pipeline project in Taichung City lost his life after he was sucked through a hole he had just made in a water pipe Monday, November 30.
The 50-year-old man, named Zeng, was working on a Taiwan Water Corporation pipeline replacement project in Tanzi District when the accident occurred at around 11:30 am.
The incident was recorded on video from someone standing above the trench. The video footage showed Zeng atop the steel pipe using a lump hammer to knock out a 60 x 40 centimeter square piece that had been cut by a coworker. However, when the steel plate finally gave way, Zeng lost his balance, falling forward. Zeng momentarily caught himself, but the suction force caused by the vacuum in the pipe sucked him feet-first into the pipe.
Zeng’s coworkers pulled Zeng out of the pipe, but he had lost vital signs by the time paramedics arrived, and was later declared dead at the hospital.
The Ministry of Labor and other relevant agencies are currently investigating the incident. The incident is one of three fatal industrial accidents reported in Taiwan’s news media today. In Yilan, a welder died while working in an enclosed space due to a buildup of argon gas, and in Kaohsiung, a backhoe driver was buried alive after a chimney collapsed on a demolition site.
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