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Worker injured after bulldozer falls into hole at Duke Energy plant

Published: Sep. 19, 2012 at 10:34 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2012 at 10:45 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - An employee at Duke Energy's steam station suffered minor injuries after the bulldozer he was driving fell into a 20-foot hole.

Emergency crews were called to the Marshall Steam Station in Catawba County around 5 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Duke Energy officials say an employee was operating a bull dozer around a coal pile to move coal onto a conveyor.

The bull dozer fell into a 20 foot hole with the employee inside.

Inintial reports indicated that a coal pile collapsed, trapping a Caterpillar D11 bulldozer and its operator in the hole.

That employee was able to keep radio communications with other Duke employees who called for outside fire and rescue assistance.

Rescuers were able to lower a ladder into the hole and the employee was able to climb out with very minor injuries less than two hours later.

WBTV has learned that Duke Energy will review the procedures at Marshall to see if they can improve upon anything based on this incident.

The equipment operators are trained to maintain radio communications, and remain in their equipment in the event of an emergency.

The Marshall Steam Station is operated by Duke Energy and is one of its largest coal facilities according to Duke Energy's website. It's a four-unit, coal-fired generating facility.

Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved.