News

Fatal accident in Wean Hall

A contracting worker was killed after being electrocuted while working in Wean Hall last Tuesday.

Harold Taylor Jr. — a 59- year-old man from Mt. Oliver, Pennsylvania — worked for the Eaton Electrical Company.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on the same day that Taylor had been working in Wean Hall at the time of the accident, and a 911 call was placed at 10:20 a.m. He was pronounced dead on the scene half an hour later.

University spokesman Ken Walters commented to the Post-Gazette that the incident was an “industrial accident” and released no further details.

The university attempted to alert students, but for some members of the student body, the Alert System text message contained typographical errors, reading, “G¿¿¿ in Wean Hall responding to an isolated incident involving an individuaX¿¿¿orking with an outside contractor. There is no cause for evacuation or other precaution.”

As was verified by those who received the complete text message, the alert read, “As you may be aware, a number of emergency first responders are in Wean Hall responding to an isolated incident involving an individual working with an outside contractor.
There is no cause of evacuation or other precaution.”

Later that day, Vice President for Campus Affairs Michael Murphy sent out an email to the Carnegie Mellon community specifying that the accident occurred on the second floor of Wean Hall and commented, “I know you join me in keeping the victim, his family and friends, and his colleagues in our thoughts and prayers.”

Murphy declined to share the personal information of the victim in his email.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating this incident, as is typical for an industrial accident.