Worker Killed in Iowa Catholic School Elevator Accident

A maintenance worker was crushed to death in an Iowa elevator accident at a Catholic grade school in Connersville. Located in Fayette County, St. Gabriel Catholic School is located in the northeast quadrant of the state. The maintenance worker killed in the elevator accident has been identified as 67-year-old George June.

Information is only being made available about the fatal Iowa elevator accident. What is known at this time is that June was not an employee of the school nor of the local Catholic school system. Rather, he evidently was employed by an independent contractor based in Indiana, a company called Accessibility Lifts. The employer of the dead man has yet to release a statement about the accident that occurred on May 6, 2021.

June evidently was performing routine maintenance on the school’s elevator, the type of work he evidently has done for many years. June was duly licensed to perform this type of maintenance work on an elevator.

The fatal accident occurred while the school was in session on a Thursday afternoon. While working on the elevator, June somehow got trapped between the base of the elevator shaft and the bottom of the elevator itself. Evidently the elevator somehow moved downward while June was in this position, ultimately crushing the man.

Death evidently was not immediate. According to sources at the school, June could be heard yelling for help, which is what alerted others to the accident.

Emergency personnel rushed to the scene. Rescue workers utilized hydraulic jaws of life to get to the worker trapped underneath the elevator. That process itself took about 15 minutes.

By the time the emergency crew reached June, they found the man unresponsive. They did perform CPR and then transported him to a local hospital. June died not long after arriving at Reid Hospital in Connersville.

No children, faculty, or other school staff members were injured in the incident. Upon arrive, the emergency team evacuated the school out of an abundance of precaution and because they did not initially know the full state of affairs.

Connersville Fire Chief Scott Jones issues a statement about the elevator accident. “Everyone on scene did an excellent job, got him out as quick as we could and EMS did an excellent job, but unfortunately he succumbed to his injuries.”

A comprehensive investigation has started regarding the fatal accident. Investigators from a number of agencies are involved in the process. These include the Department of Homeland Security as well as the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

No timeframe has been indicated as to when the investigation will conclude. Inspectors with the state have indicated following the accident that nothing appeared to be mechanically wrong with the elevator. The investigation is expected to focus on two primary concerns:

  • Whether or not the elevator maintenance work’s employer, Accessibility Lifts, was in compliance with safety statutes and regulations.
  • Whether or not the elevator maintenance worker was following all mandated safety protocols while undertaking maintenance on the lift.

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