Worker trapped under fallen AC unit at Bowie HS freed

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — At 2:45 p.m., ATCEMS responded to a report of a worker at Bowie High School who became trapped beneath a fallen air conditioning unit. 

4 p.m. update: 

ATCEMS confirmed that a worker was trapped by a 500-pound AC unit that shifted during maintenance. After the person became pinned, Austin Fire Department employed heavy rescue assets and a 20-minute extraction began. The victim was a 35 year-old male and despite his chest and upper body having been trapped, endured minor injuries. He reportedly remained conscious during the ordeal and was able to relay his condition. According to ATCEMS, such incidents are not uncommon during HVAC work. 

The school was reported as having cooperated well with responders and the remaining work on the project was being paused for the rest of the day.

3:44 p.m. update:

AISD reported that the extent of the person’s injuries were not yet released but did say that the school did not go into lockdown during the incident and it is doubted that there was any impact on students at all. 

3:39 update:

Austin Fire tweeted that it worked a Rescue Task Force to assist the person who was pinned after the unit shifted from the ceiling. 

3:09 p.m. update:

ATCEMS reported that the patient had been freed from beneath the AC unit and was being moved to an ambulance for evaluation. Initial reports indicated non-life threatening injuries. 

According to the Dispatch, the student news site at James Bowie HS, the school’s heating and air conditioning system underwent several repairs in June of 2018 after ongoing complaints from students. During the HVAC work, summer school activities had been relocated to preserve safety. According to a report from Virtual Builders Exchange, the estimated cost for the upgrades were $3.9 million and included demolition of existing air handling units, fan and coil units, horizontal flow ventilators, among many other improvements.

This is a developing story. KXAN will update this with more information as it becomes available. 

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