” A worker at the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant died Saturday after a hatch at the back of a truck being used in cleanup work closed on his head, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.
The accident occurred at around 6:30 a.m., when the man, 52, was cleaning the truck. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The man worked for a subcontractor of general contractor Kajima Corp., Tepco said.
A man who was working with the victim told plant officials that he found him slumped at the back of a 7.9-meter-long tank truck used to transport underground water and dirt dug from a frozen wall construction site to a dump site, Tepco said.
The co-worker told utility officials that minutes before the incident, the victim indicated to him that he had finished cleaning and inspecting the truck’s tank and wanted him to close the hatch, Tepco spokesman Shinichi Nakakuki said.
The co-worker said he then closed the hatch using a lever behind the driver’s compartment. Officials said that he most likely could not see his partner at the back of the truck from that position.
The workers’ full-face masks and helmets make it difficult to communicate.
The Fukushima Prefectural Police were investigating the cause of the accident.
Another worker died in March 2014 at the No. 1 plant, the site of the 2011 triple-meltdown accident, after he was buried under mud during work to reinforce a waste storage facility.
And in January this year, a third fatality occurred when a worker accidentally fell from the top of a 10-meter-high tank used to store rainwater. ”