INDIANAPOLIS - A Citizens Energy contractor has died at a tunneling-connector site on the southwest side of the city.
Indianapolis police (IMPD) confirmed the worker, identified as 25-year-old William Isaac Simpson, died at the Deep Rock Tunnel Connector site, which begins on the 6600 block of South Tibbs Avenue and extends 7 miles through the ground. (See map below.)
The incident happened sometime early Friday morning. Dispatchers confirmed OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) was on its way to the scene.
Very sad day at Citizens as a contractor dies at Deep Rock Tunnel site. The investigation is still ongoing. Our hearts go out to the family.— Citizens Energy (@citizensenergy) June 13, 2014
Officials said Simpson was working as a laborer for SKJV, a joint venture that has contractors working for Citizens. He was on an 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift when he died.
A spokesman for Indiana OSHA said its investigation could take two to three months to wrap up.
Work has been halted at the site of the tunnel connector and all other workers have been removed from the tunnel. Officials said the incident happened more than 250 feet below ground near the intersection of West Street and Raymond Avenue.
Officials said eight to 10 employees were working on mining the tunnel in the area where Simpson died. Citizen's offered them access to grief counselors, a spokesman said, and all have been sent home for the day.
Citizens Energy spokeswoman Sarah Holsapple said they can't say at this point whether it was a worksite incident or a medical incident that led to the man's death.
There are no details yet on how the incident happened, but officials said it occurred at the end of the 7-mile long tunnel. Workers are required to take a 50-minute train ride underground to reach that section of the worksite.
The Deep Rock Tunnel Connector is planned to extend roughly 8 miles form the Southport Sewage Treatment Plant in southern Marion County to the 1700 block of West Street in downtown Indianapolis. Work should be completed in more than 10 years, in 2025.
The construction of the tunnel is part of Citizens' federally mandated plan to curb the overflow of raw sewage into rivers and streams. It designs into the future Indy Tunnel system, which will extend along Fall Creek, White River, Pogues Run, Pleasant Run and Bean Creek to make a collective underground storage and transport facility for sewage to the wastewater treatment plant.
Learn more about the project here.
Holsapple released this statement from Citizens Energy Friday morning:
Tragically, there has been a death of a worker here today at our Deep Rock Tunnel Connector site. We are withholding the identity of the worker for pending notification of his family. The circumstances of the worker's death are still under investigation so we cannot speculate about a cause. We expect to have more details later today. Our hearts go out to the worker's family. Thank you for your patience as we gather the details of this incident.
Watch RTV6 and check back here for updates.
Can't see our map? Tap or click here.
ALERT: Heat advisory in effect until 8 PM
The heat wave continues as the heat advisory remains in effect until 8 PM for the entire state
Cops Cycling for Survivors finishes 1k-mile ride
For the last two weeks, a group of Hoosiers has been biking across Indiana in support of the families of law enforcement officers killed in…
PHOTOS: Pokemon Go meetup at White River Park
Pokemon Go players gathered at White River State Park Saturday for a day of fun and Pokemon catching.
Kyle Busch takes Brickyard 400 pole
Kyle Busch will try to defend his Brickyard 400 win from the pole Sunday.
Could Indy host the next GOP convention?
After the GOP's big political party in Cleveland, Hoosiers are now asking whether Indianapolis could play host to the Republican National…