EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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February 28, 2013

Injured worker rescued from inside wastewater tank

NORTH ANDOVER — Firefighters this morning rescued an injured worker from inside a wastewater holding tank at the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District.

The worker was inside the roughly 25-foot-tall tank replacing a component when a portion of it collapsed and fell on him, according to North Andover fire Lt. Robert Bonenfant.

"It was a fairly substantial steel structure," said Bonenfant. "There was no easy way to remove him."

Bonenfant said the worker likely suffered "several broken bones but nothing life-threatening." North Andover police Chief Paul Gallagher said the worker was taken to Lawrence General Hospital but did not know his condition.

Gallagher said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been notified of the incident.

The Greater Lawrence Sanitary District is a regional wastewater treatment facility located at 240 Charles St.

Firefighters were called to the scene at 8:30 a.m.

Bonenfant said firefighters used a stokes basket, ropes and straps to hoist the worker out of the tank and to safety.

Responding to the scene were two pumper trucks, a ladder truck and two ambulances from the North Andover Fire Department. North Andover police, Lawrence General paramedics and a rescue crew from the Lawrence Fire Department also responded.

Bonenfant said the scene was cleared by 9:21 a.m.

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