ETX workers killed on impact when wall collapses - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

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ETX workers killed on impact when wall collapses

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JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) -

A tragic industrial accident took the lives of two East Texans Monday morning. 

This happened off of County Road 3113 in Jacksonville around 9 a.m. 

Cherokee County authorities said the men were working to reinforce a 40-year-old retaining wall when it collapsed, Donald Starling, 60, and Hollis Morris, 68, on impact. Morris' son, 45-year-old Rodney Morris escaped with injuries. 

"The problem they were going to try to help fix is what killed them," said Cherokee County Sheriff James Campbell. 

When the Captain of the Jacksonville Fire Department, Ted Hunt, arrived on scene he said the crews knew it was not going to be a rescue mission. 

"It's frustrating when you arrive on the scene and you can't, you know, rescue someone and you go into just a recovery mode," Captain Hunt said. 

It took more than three hours to recover the bodies of Starling and Morris. 

"They're having a very difficult time getting them out. They're having to do a lot of it by shovel because it's a location where you can't get a big piece of equipment in there," Sheriff Campbell said. 

Sheriff Campbell said the crew had come in to dig down on the side of the retaining wall that was exposed; it lacked steel reinforcements, which is what they were going to do on Monday. 

Workers said the wall seemed sturdy, so they rested near it as they waited for the steel reinforcements to arrive, but that is when the wall came crashing down. 

"A 30 foot section of the wall fell on top of them; it killed them instantly," Sheriff Campbell said. 

Two men killed on impact, but a third narrowly escaped. Authorities said Rodney Morris made it out with broken bones, but is expected to survive.

Copyright 2012 KLTV. All rights reserved.

 

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