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Welder Killed at Okla. Water Tower Construction Site

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A construction worker died as a result of injuries suffered when a piece of steel plate fell on him during construction of a new water tower for the City of Pryor, Okla.

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Early on the morning of August 12, welder Robert Shane Hoesli, 21, of Clyde, Kan., was standing on an I-beam pallet holding three half-ton steel places, which would form the stem of the water tower, says Corp. Sue Greninger with the Prior Police Dept. She adds that the men had secured two of the 10-ft tall by 12-ft wide, curved steel plates and were attempting to get the third into position, when it fell on top of Hoesli, who was standing behind it at the apex of the curve.

Gary Pruett, manager of the Pryor Municipal Utility Board, says he was not at the scene, but confirmed Hoesli worked for Gerard Tank & Steel of Concordia, Kan., a company the city hired to build the new $580,000, 330,000-gal replacement water tower to accommodate current growth and future expansion.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident. Gerard Tank received three serious violations in 2004 during a planned inspection in Kansas, which were settled in 2005. The company has no other open cases with OSHA.

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