"There had been some type of malfunction with the industrial equipment," said Lower Providence Township Fire Chief Bryan McFarland, "and we did have one victim that was approximately 40 to 60 feet in the air inside of an 80-foot water tower."
A total of three men were employed by Corrosion Control Corporation and contracted by the Audubon Water Co. to do work on the inside of the empty water tower located at 40 Featherbed Lane in Lower Providence Township.
Two were suspended by harnesses when officials say there was a malfunction with equipment. A third was able to call for help from the ground.
The accident happened around 11:20 a.m. Wednesday.
It took three hours and several fire companies to complete the rescue operation. Firefighters had to wear harnesses. The operation had to be delicate and meticulous.
They pulled both the rescued and deceased out of a manhole at the bottom of the tower.
Crews say the trapped employee was conscious and talking the whole time. An ambulance took him to Paoli Hospital almost immediately after his rescue at about 2:20 Wednesday afternoon.
"Rarely in this business do we see successful endings to some rescues that we do and it's always a good thing," said McFarland. "And I think everybody was fairly happy with the outcome."
The investigation into the incident continues. Representatives from OSHA were on the scene Wednesday and interviewed the third worker.
Officials have not released the names of the man who was injured or the man who died.