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Tunnel accident near Las Vegas kills one worker, injures another

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 11:11 PM EDT, Mon June 11, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A high-pressure release of grout strikes two workers at a construction site
  • They were working underground on a water project for the Las Vegas area
  • No other workers remain in the tunnel at this point, an official says

(CNN) -- An accident in a tunnel at a construction project near Lake Mead in the Las Vegas area killed one worker and injured another on Monday, the agency operating the site said.

The workers were constructing a mining operation underground when they were hit by a high-pressure release of grout, said Bronson Mack of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, a cooperative public agency formed in 1991 to manage the water resources in a region that includes Las Vegas.

One worker suffered a fatal blow from the impact of the pressure release and died on the scene, Mack said. The other worker was taken to a hospital with unspecified injuries.

No other workers remain in the tunnel at this time, according to Mack, and no one was exposed to harmful gases as a result of the accident.

The fatal pressure release took place at a project known as Intake No. 3, which is under way near Lake Mead. The project is intended to give the authorities the ability to draw water from the Colorado River for the Las Vegas area and guard against water quality issues that are associated with continually dropping lake levels.

The area is in the midst of moderate to severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

The regional agency has undertaken a $2.9 billion capital improvement initiative, stretched out over 15 years, to address the region's water needs.

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