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2 workers killed at JFK Airport after falling into trench

Ambulance (Dreamstime/TNS)
April 03, 2023

A deadly incident at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Monday killed two construction workers who fell into a trench and were pronounced dead after an extensive rescue operation.

More than 60 firefighters responded to the construction site after being alerted to the trapped workers near the airport’s power plant, Fox 5 NY reported. Responders removed the workers from the trench, both of whom were pronounced dead at the scene.

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Officials said the incident occurred around 11:05 a.m. near Building 49, which is located in the midst of the terminals and hosts the airport’s power plant, the New York Daily News reported.

The cause of the incident was not immediately clear. JFK Airport stated on Twitter that both workers became “trapped under construction rubble.”

All construction at the airport has been ordered to stop, and a “thorough investigation” into the incident is now underway, the airport announced in a tweet.

In a tweet at 12:44 p.m., the airport had noted “ongoing emergency activity” causing “roadway delays” near two terminals.

The Kennedy International Airport Power Plant is a gas-fired cogeneration facility that powers the airport, with residual power sold on to New York’s state energy grid operator, according to its website.

The deadly incident near the plant comes after two planes nearly collided at the airport during takeoff in January, triggering multiple federal investigations. In radio chatter shared online, an air traffic controller swore before frantically ordering a plane to cancel its takeoff as it barreled toward another plane.

No injuries were reported among the total of 282 passengers on those planes.

READ MORE: Video: Two planes nearly collide at Austin airport

In 2019, a Delta Air Lines tug operator was killed at JFK Airport. The worker was crushed by his own tug when it somehow slipped into gear while he was trying to hook a cart to it, as reported by WABC.