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Worker Killed In Penn State Construction Site Crane Accident

by: Zach Berger

A construction worker was killed in a tragic accident on Penn State’s campus Friday evening. At approximately 6:45 p.m., 29-year-old Jerod Chapman was breaking down a crane at the Burrowes Building to move it when another worker reportedly removed a pin.

The crane swung and struck Chapman. The Uniontown native was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The Centre County Coroner’s office said in a news release that an autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

Construction will be halted on the site starting Monday as the accident is investigated by construction management firm P.J. Dick, according to university spokesperson Lisa Powers. “We anticipate a thorough investigation of the accident by P.J. Dick and an examination of their safety program,” Powers said. “Once the investigation is complete, the work will continue at the site.”

Powers says the university works with all contractors to create the safest possible working conditions. Each construction site has its own specific safety plan.

“It is rare to have a serious accident like this on a project,” Powers said. “This was a tragedy and our deepest sympathy goes out to the victim’s family, friends and co-workers.”

Campus police have declined comment on the accident. Maccabee Industrial, the Belle Vernon-based contractor for the site, could not be reached for comment as of Sunday afternoon.

The building was originally built in 1940. It is being renovated to install improved cooling/heating systems, redesign the interior, update the facade, and meet sustainability standards.

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