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Worker dies trying to fix leaking water pipe

Date Posted: 2007-09-21

A 38-year-old Kume Town employee was killed Wednesday as he tried to close a lid on a leaking pipe transferring water to a filtration plant at Gima Dam.
Seiya Maehara was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital following the accident. He had been working on closing the pipe lid when his arm was sucked into the pipe by the powerful current. The water was only one meter deep, but officials say the surge was too powerful for a fellow worker to pull his arm out. That worker went for help, and a rescue party pulled Maehara’s arm from the pipe.
Pipes at the Gima Dam had been damaged by last week’s typhoon, and water was leaking. Maehara, a Kume Town office worker, had tried to close off the pipe when the accident happened. Gima Dam supplies the town with water, and also is used for agricultural purposes.
Kume Town has held an emergency meeting to determine what went terribly wrong. Police are questioning the worker who tried to rescue Maehara, hoping for a more clear explanation as to what happened.

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