ST. GEORGE — A 17-year-old suffered severe head and facial trauma during an industrial accident in Hildale Wednesday morning and was transported to the hospital in critical condition.
Just after 9 a.m. emergency personnel were dispatched to the accident involving a worker who was reportedly trapped by a conveyor belt, Hildale-Colorado City Fire Chief Kevin Barlow said.
The accident occurred at a metal fabrication business on Uzona Avenue in Hildale.
“The fire station is only two blocks from where the accident occurred,” Barlow said, “so our paramedic rescue truck was on scene in just over a minute.”
Several co-workers who were present when the incident occurred freed the injured worker while the fire department was en route, Barlow said.
Upon arrival paramedics found the teen “very seriously injured from what appeared to be extensive trauma to the head and facial area,” the chief said.
Once treated at the scene the worker was transported by ambulance to Dixie Regional Medical Center where a trauma team was waiting.
“The ambulance raced with lights and sirens activated, or ‘code 3’ as we say, the entire way, and the trauma team at Dixie Regional met the paramedics just as they pulled into the ambulance bay,” Barlow said.
Witnesses told responders that the employees were working on a mobile conveyor belt and in the process of straightening a metal section of the supporting framework when the accident occurred.
Workers were first heating the metal and then bending the softened material back into place when the entire support structure collapsed under the weight of the conveyor belt.
The framework fell directly on top of the 17-year-old, striking his head and face before pinning him in between one of the axle tires and the side of the conveyor, Barlow said.
While a shop employee called 911 the other workers used a Hyster to lift the conveyor off of the injured worker while the fire department made its way to the facility.
Hyster is a U.S. company that manufactures lifting machines, forklift trucks and a wide range of material handling equipment.
The Hildale-Colorado City Fire Department, and Hildale-Colorado City Fire Department Ambulance responded to the scene.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
An update on the teen’s condition was not available at the writing of this report.
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