Con Ed worker killed in manhole explosion

October 10, 2008 5:46:07 AM PDT
A Con Edison worker was killed when a manhole exploded in the East New York section of Brooklyn Thursday, trapping him underground in the flames.Authorities say the worker, a 26-year-old distribution splicer identified as George Dillman, was trapped inside a manhole that exploded at the intersection of Sutter and Euclid avenues just after 12:30 p.m.

The force of the explosion rocked the neighborhood, and heavy flames shot from the hole.

Dillman's partner, a mechanic, was able to escape the flames. He suffered burns and rushed to Brookdale Hospital.

The workers were reportedly splicing cables underground when the explosion happened. Residents said the workers had been on the block for several days.

Dillman was hired by Con Edison in 2005, officials said. Friends say he had two sisters and a brother and was engaged to be married. He was also a member of the Hicksville Volunteer Fire Department, Engine and Hose Company Four.

The hospitalized worker, identified as 28-year-old Craig Penney, was the second man on the job. Penney, a Con Ed utility worker for one year, was treated and released from the hospital.

The president of the workers' union, Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers Union of America, responded to the scene.

Con Edison released the following statement:

"We are deeply saddened by today's tragedy in Brooklyn involving two of our employees. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the deceased worker and his injured colleague. Our crews work in potentially dangerous conditions 24-7 and perform their jobs with extreme dedication and attention to safety. We will thoroughly investigate the cause of this incident.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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