DEP worker killed at Bay Ridge water treatment plant

A Department of Environmental Protection worker was crushed to death by a steel beam Friday at the Owl?s Head waste water treatment plant in Bay

BROOKLYN - A Department of Environmental Protection worker was crushed to death by a steel beam Friday at the Owl?s Head waste water treatment plant in Bay Ridge, officials say.

Gennaro Mentello was among a crew of men that was moving a temporary conveyor belt. During the move, one of the belt?s steel beams buckled, crushing the 45-year-old man. Another person was injured trying to save Mentello. He was taken to the hospital in stable condition.

"It takes about six men to move the conveyor belt,? says Councilman Vincent Gentile. ?It?s surprising to me that once it fell more people weren't hurt."

Gentile says the plant was undergoing construction to reduce odor in the surrounding area, and the temporary belts were used to move debris.

Following the fatal accident, officials have launched an investigation to determine whether the worker?s death could have been prevented. According to Gentile, the Owl?s Head plant will stop using the temporary belts at least until the investigation is complete.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement that the accident is a tragic reminder of how many people, besides uniformed officers, serve the city in challenging environments.

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