Buried in asphalt, 15-year-old Manitoba boy dies
A 15-year-old Manitoba boy died after being buried in hot asphalt at a workplace in Stony Mountain, Man., on Friday morning.

Buried in asphalt, 15-year-old Manitoba boy dies

Posted:Jul 25, 2008 1:29 PM CT

Last Updated:Jul 25, 2008 7:45 PM CT

A 15-year-old Manitoba boy died after being buried in hot asphalt at a workplace in Stony Mountain, Man., on Friday morning.

Andrew James was working for a paving company that was doing repairs near an old Manitoba Hydro substation on Quarry Road, RCMP said.

It appears the boy was helping to unload asphalt from a truck when he somehow was buried under its contents.

"We arrived on scene and there was an individual buried by asphalt. Only his hair was sticking out," said Stony Mountain fire Chief Wallace Drysdale.

"Individuals buried in that much fill or asphalt or anything, he is dead. He's deceased. Because your body cannot survive that."

Drysdale said he believed the truck unexpectedly dumped too much asphalt, overwhelming James in the process.

Two workers on the site suffered burns to their hands trying to dig the boy out, Drysdale said.

Firefighters eventually freed him from the asphalt. The material was so hot, the rescuers' toes were burning inside their boots, Drysdale said.

"There was just tons and tons of material," he said. "It took us about 14 minutes to get him out."

Accident under investigation

Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health and Stonewall RCMP are investigating the accident. Police said they did not know yet if charges would be laid.

People under the age of 16 are allowed to work in Manitoba, but they must have a permit from the provincial employment standards branch.

Employees under the age of 16 are not allowed to work between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. or on construction sites, in industrial or manufacturing processes, drilling or servicing rigs, on scaffolding or doing tree maintenance.

The teen's death is the second construction-related fatality in the past three weeks in the province.

Earlier this month, a 21-year-old man fell under the wheels of a skid steer loader at a home construction site in south Winnipeg.

Thirteen other people have died in workplace accidents so far in 2008, said officials with the province's Workers Compensation Board.

With files from the Canadian Press
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