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Worker Dies At Water Treatment Plant In Sheepshead Bay

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - A worker dies after getting trapped at a water treatment plant in Brooklyn Wednesday afternoon.

Michael Buffamante, 31, became trapped at the Coney Island Wastewater Treatment plant on 2602 Knapp Street in Sheepshead Bay. The incident began at around 12:50 p.m.

As CBS2's Alice Gainer reported, the emergency prompted a massive rescue effort.

FDNY divers removed Buffamante from the water unconscious and unresponsive. He was rushed to Coney Island Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

It was unclear Wednesday afternoon, how Buffamante fell in. He was under the water for quite some time and did not survive.

Dozens of FDNY first responders were trying to get him out.

"There was no sign of him on the surface of the water," FDNY Dep. Chief John Hodgens said. "It's just a big 35-ft tank of concrete and he fell and he went right to the bottom."

That's where two FDNY divers found the man.

"Approximately eight minutes later they pulled him out and got him out onto land immediately. CPR was started on him," Hodgens said.

They were unable to get a pulse back but worked on him all the way to the hospital. They said the tank he was in was full of treated water.

"The waste water that he fell into is in the final stage before the water goes out. It's the water is treated, it's chlorinated, although it's still toxic," Hodgens explained.

According to the DEP Buffamante was a contractor with Welkin Mechanical and was performing upgrades.

On-site staff reports said he was wearing Personal Protective Equipment while performing an installation.


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