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Construction accident claims 1 life at Tennessee plant

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a beloved vacation spot for many people, a place for families to go to escape the stress of daily life and relax. What most people don't consider is the amount of work that goes into keeping Gatlinburg a beautiful and sought-after vacation destination. A plethora of people call the mountains of East Tennessee home. Unfortunately, even in this serene mountain setting, work injuries happen and a certain number of employment-related risks are inherent. Recently, a trench collapse at The Gatlinburg Wastewater Treatment plant and claimed the life of one worker. It has resulted in a state-sponsored investigation.

News reports have confirmed that one employee at the wastewater treatment plant was struck from behind when rock and dirt fell on him. The employee's identity has been withheld, presumably until the family has been notified. When the incident took place, employees had been deconstructing a concrete basin that collapsed in 2011. During that construction accident, two plant workers were killed and over one million gallons of raw sewage poured into Little Pigeon River.

The recent construction accident has prompted state officials to dispatch investigators from Kingsport to the resort town. The investigation is expected to last between six and eight weeks. The company behind the demolition work -- NEO Corporation of Canton, North Carolina -- would not comment on the situation. City officials have released statements in recognition of the "tragedy of the situation."

In cases like this, no amount of reparation can replace the loss of a family member and loved one. However, people who are victimized by construction accidents or other workplace injury are often eligible for workers' compensation. Seeking professional legal advice may be beneficial in determining if you qualify.

Source: Knoxnews.com, "Worker killed at Gatlinburg wastewater plant," Feb. 23, 2012

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