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Public Works Accident Leaves One Employee Dead, One Injured

outer loop
Erica Peterson

An accident at a Louisville Public Works roads maintenance facility late Wednesday morning left one employee dead and another hospitalized.

Two employees who were part of a three-person crew loading road salt into the dome at 617 Outer Loop were part of an incident involving the conveyor system in which "something went wrong," Public Works spokesman Harold Adams said.

The accident occurred around 11:30 a.m. Adams said the two were longtime employees, and their identities will not be made public until after an autopsy is completed Thursday morning.

Adams said the incident is being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which reviews workplace fatalities, and the Louisville Metro Police Department. Foul play is not suspected, he said.

"It's a shock to all of us here at Public Works and throughout Metro Government," Adams said.

The last known on-the-job Public Works fatality was in 2011, he said.

In a statement, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer called the accident "a tragedy" for the entire city and a reminder of the daily work city employees do to keep others safe.

"The tragedy occurred at the salt dome, where employees were serving our citizens by making preparations to keep our roads clean and clear during the holidays. My deepest condolences to the family, friends and coworkers," Fischer wrote. "Workplace safety has been a top focus of Metro Government with particular attention to heavy equipment in departments like Public Works. In addition to the OSHA review, I have ordered a similar internal review.”

This post has been updated.

Amina Elahi is LPM's City Editor. Email Amina at aelahi@lpm.org.