Worker Sustains Fatal Injury at LAX Cargo Facility

Monday, May 15, 2006 |

On Monday, May 15, 2006 at 10:22 AM, six Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, one Heavy Rescue Unit, two Urban Search and Rescue Companies, one EMS Battalion Captain and two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams under the direction of Battalion Chief Millage Peaks, responded to reports of a trapped worker at a Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) cargo facility near 6555 West Imperial Highway in Los Angeles.

LAX-based LAFD Firefighter/Paramedics arrived quickly inside the large Qantas (QAN.AX) leased air freight handling site on the south side of the airport, where they discovered a male worker who initially appeared trapped by machinery at the base of a multi-level cargo pod storage rack.

According to bystanders, the 54 year-old Los Angeles man, an employee of Menzies Distribution (MNZS.L), had been seen "no more than five minutes" earlier, yet the incident which led to his injuries was unwitnessed.

As the Firefighter/Paramedics scrambled to the man's location beneath a semi-automatic tracked cargo handling conveyance known as an Elevated Transfer Vehicle, they found the man inverted, legs askew and non-breathing, with his chin to chest.

Though specially trained and equipped LAFD rescue teams were enroute, their skill and resources for heavy lift and mechanical disentanglment proved unnecessary, as the first arriving Firefighters were able to remove the cyanotic and pulseless man from his predicament and immediately initiate Basic Life Support measures.

The challenge of significant oral and nasal hemorrhage was overcome in providing Advanced Life Support to the man, who otherwise displayed no signs of major trauma, save a bruise across the upper chest and minor lacerations to his hands. He was transported to Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center in grave condition.

Despite the prompt and well-coordinated efforts of veteran LAFD Paramedics and Hospital Staff, the man's injuries proved incompatible with life. He was declared deceased shortly after hospital arrival.

There were no other injuries.

Airport officials have confirmed that this incident, within the cargo facility, had no impact on passenger operations.

The Los Angeles International Airport Police Department responded to the scene and will assist the Coroner's office in their efforts to positively identify the man, as well as determine the precise cause, exact time and manner of his death.

Questions regarding the presence, need or decedent's use of safety equipment and approved worksite procedures remain within the purview of Cal-OSHA officials, who are investigating this incident as a workplace fatality.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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