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Worker critically hurt in Pasco construction site fall

Construction workers talk after a steelworker fell 30 feet onto a concrete slab Thursday in Trinity. He was flown by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg.

JANEL SCHROEDER-NORTON | Times

Construction workers talk after a steelworker fell 30 feet onto a concrete slab Thursday in Trinity. He was flown by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg.

TRINITY — A steelworker was critically injured Thursday after falling 30 feet onto a concrete slab while installing a roof truss at a church being built on Little Road, authorities said.

The man's name was not released. He was in critical condition with head injuries when he was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg after the 10:15 a.m. accident.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating. Messages left there Thursday were not returned.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office also investigated. Spokesman Kevin Doll gave this account:

The 36-year-old man, an employee of Tophat Steel in Zephyrhills, was working at Generations Christian Church at 1530 Little Road. The church is north of Trinity Boulevard and next door to the Pasco Town Center shopping complex, also under construction.

He was sitting on a roof truss being put in place. After he unhooked the truss from a chain connecting it to a construction crane, he signaled the crane operator to move the line away.

But the chain did not clear the truss, knocking the man and the steel truss to the concrete below. Doll said the man had a safety harness, but it wasn't attached to anything, and his hard hat came off in the fall.

Tophat owner Louis Perrone could not be reached. Nor could Greg Johnson, pastor of Generations Christian.

The Trinity site is to become the new home of First Christian Church of Tarpon Springs. The nondenominational congregation is tailoring its new 30-acre campus to a younger crowd, with a "performing arts" design that includes stadium seating, high-tech sound system and seating for nearly 1,000.

The $17-million church, which will have a cafe and bookstore, is slated to open next summer.

Molly Moorhead can be reached at moorhead@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6245.

Worker critically hurt in Pasco construction site fall 09/18/08 [Last modified: Monday, September 22, 2008 2:21pm]
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