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Pennsylvania worker presumed dead after silo collapse

A 48-year-old industrial warehouse worker is presumed dead following a silo collapse in Bucks County on Jan. 7. The accident occurred shortly before midnight at the Riverside Industrial Complex located on the 7900 block of North Radcliffe Street in Bristol Township.

The collapse was discovered by a Bristol Township police officer who was performing a routine patrol of the complex at approximately 1 a.m. A representative of the Edgely Fire Company said emergency crews and rescue dogs searched for the victim in the debris, but they were unable to locate him.

Authorities said the collapse of the 125-foot silo was an engulfment scenario, meaning that thousands of pounds of concrete came crashing down like an avalanche. Due to the severity of the collapse and the extreme cold, it was determined the victim could not have survived. Crews are now focused on finding his body. Officials said they do not know how long the complicated recovery effort will take.

The victim was employed by the Silvi Group Companies, which operates a cement and concrete business in Chester, Bucks and New Jersey. The company also owns the Riverside Industrial Complex. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation into the accident. It is not yet known why the silo collapsed.

When an industrial worker is killed in a workplace accident, surviving family members could be able to file a workers' compensation claim for death benefits. However, in some cases, a civil lawsuit may be advisable. An attorney could help a victim's family understand their legal options and guide them through their decision process.

Source: Bucks County Courier Times, "Search for missing worker in silo collapse could take days," Jo Ciavaglia and George Mattar, Jan. 9, 2015

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