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Construction Worker Killed When Equipment Falls Into Frigid Water In Linden, N.J.

LINDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A construction worker died Thursday after he became trapped in frigid water in Linden, New Jersey.

It happened around 8 a.m. beyond an industrial site on Trembly Point Road, which is lined with oil refineries.

A large excavator toppled into the Arthur Kill River Chanel, trapping the worker inside 6 feet under water.

"There was an air pocket, according to the rescuers who were up on the scene," Fire Chief William Hasko said.


More than 50 first responders rushed to the scene to help. Ultimately, NYPD aviation divers pulled the man out after being submerged for more than an hour. He was alive but unresponsive.

"The individual was ultimately removed from the cab and transported to Trinitas Hospital," Police Lt. Christopher Guenther said.

"The backhoe was operating in and around the area of the waterline. For whatever reason -- it's under investigation -- it wound up on its side and under water," Hasko added.

The fire chief estimated the water temperature was below 40 degrees.

"Hypothermia definitely starts to set in, starts to affect vital organs of the body," he said.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is now handling the investigation.

CBS2's Meg Baker contributed to this report.

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