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Feds probe man's fall into Long Island drywell

June 15, 2011 5:17:34 AM PDT
A federal safety agency is looking into an accident in which a Long Island street sweeper fell into a 25-foot deep drywell that had been covered with plywood.

Newsday says the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which looks into work-related accidents, is investigating.

It says the storm drain in Uniondale, Long Island, is on private property owned by Manhattan-based real estate company Philips International. Police say a company worker had placed the plywood on the hole. Philips didn't return a request for comment.

Joe Hranicka spent more than seven hours inside the drywell. He was cleaning a parking lot Monday night when he stopped to move the plywood and fell in, landing on dry debris and a chair. Police say the drain's metal cover was found in the hole.

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