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Bank Collapses at Bridge Site, Worker Killed

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GREENWOOD TOWNSHIP -- What started off as a normal day repairing the bridge over Little Fishing Creek on Eyersgrove Road near Millville turned into a tragedy.

Emergency crews were called to a collapse at the construction site in Columbia County where a worker was killed.

Crews said an embankment collapsed around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at a bridge project off Route 42 in Greenwood Township.

One neighbor described it as a "horrifying scene."

Rescue crews tell us the man was killed while working in a trench next to a bridge in Columbia County.

Authorities have not yet said what caused the embankment to collapse, but the Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating.

The county coroner identified the victim as Richard Gold, 37, of Unityville.

Millville Fire Chief Rob Bower said when the embankment collapsed, the dirt pinned the man to the wall of the bridge and crushed him.

The fire chief said the crew from Susquehanna Supply was drilling asphalt and the man was down in a trench cleaning mud off the wall. The chief said the embankment collapsed instantly, crushing the man.

According to PennDOT, the bridge project started in June. The crew is reconstructing, repainting, and paving parts of the bride.

The fire chief said the man who died was an experienced contractor in the wrong place at the wrong time.

When the chief got on scene, the man's coworkers were trying to dig him out. The chief said getting the man's body out of the trench was time-consuming because they had no make sure no one else got hurt.

"Maybe a five foot wide gap between the existing dirt and the bridge abutment and that part of it, about four or five feet of it actually collapsed, fell in on top of him," said Chief Bower.

A representative from OSHA says it could take several weeks to figure out what caused the embankment to collapse.

In a statement, PennDOT said:

"After a worksite incident involving injuries or death, the contractor will provide notification to OSHA when they plan to resume work. PennDOT will review the plan to resume work to confirm it complies with contract requirements. At this time we do not have a schedule to resume work"

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