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Southeastern PA

Fallen tree sparks power outage, injures worker

LOWER PROVIDENCE TWP., Pa. - A contractor moving trees on an approved new townhouse community site in the 3900 block of Germantown Pike fell a tree onto PECO power lines, leading to power outages and an injury to a local worker Thursday.

The damage to the PECO facilities shortly before 3 p.m. disabled several traffic signals, causing officials to direct traffic around the area. It also led to a power outage for local residents and commercial properties. 

One commercial property, Superior Tube Company, located in the 3900 block of Germantown Pike, suffered a power outage, which led workers to initiate a shutdown of equipment. During the shutdown, a piece of machinery malfunctioned and an employee was struck in the head by a metal plate.

Lower Providence Township EMS were dispatched to the scene at 6 p.m. and transported the victim to Paoli Trauma Center, where he underwent surgery for his injuries. When EMS arrived on scene, however, their carbon monoxide meters indicated a dangerous level of carbon monoxide in the area and they evacuated all employees.

The Superior Tube staff informed officials that during the shutdown process, a release of hydrogen and nitrogen could have been released inside the building along with carbon monoxide. 

The Montgomery County Hazmat Team was called to the scene and fire personnel proceeded to shut down the supply of gases and chemicals and ventilated the building. 

Shortly after 10 p.m., the building was released back to Superior Tube and an hour later, PECO completed the restoration to their facilities and Germantown Pike was reopened to traffic. 

The Fire Marshal is working with Superior Tube and other agencies to identify the root cause for this event. 

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