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Sheriff Candidate’s Son Dies in Industrial Accident

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Wind farmNot all accidents occur on the road. Injuries can happen in a wide variety of circumstances, including the production of gear for wind farming. Pueblo, Colorado, is the home of a manufacturing plant that produces components for wind towers used to generate electricity.

A man was killed last Wednesday at the plant, in what is being termed an industrial accident. Nick Bonham, a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain, brings us the statement from the police:

Sgt. Eric Bravo of the Pueblo Police Department said [John] Keel was pinned between a flatbed railroad car and a large forklift.

‘It’s a huge forklift. It has like 5-foot-tall tires. [Kee] was working on train tracks, helping load sections of towers when he was pinned up against a flatbed train car by a forklift,’ Bravo said.

Keel was an employee of Transportation Technology Services, which has workers at the plant, which is owned by Vestas Towers. Vestas has been in the hot seat lately, having issues with worker illness and citations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The citations were reportedly for violations related to chemicals and to a lack of training.

To add another layer of complexity to the case, the deceased is the son of John A. “Tony” Keel of George County, Miss., one of the 11 candidates running for sheriff in the Nov. 2 election.

Vestas Towers president Knud Bjarne Hansen issued the following statement:

We are saddened by the news, Vestas and TTS are fully cooperating with the appropriate authorities regarding the investigation of this tragic accident.

Watching this case unfold could be interesting. Between the prior safety concerns and the family’s connections to politics, I think we will hearing more about this unfortunate fatality.

Image by Chuck “Caveman” Coker, used under its Creative Commons license.


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