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Old 10-17-2004, 08:23 AM
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Man Killed By Boiling Tar

Man Dies After Falling Into Hot Tar

Torrington -- A construction worker is dead after falling from the roof he was working on and falling into a vat of boiling tar.

Police say Robert Halvorson, 21, South Windsor, was working on the roof of a three story building near the edge when he accidentally fell over the side. The fall alone was likely to be fatal but he fell in a 300 gallon vat of roofing tar.

Investigators were still trying to figure out how the worker from Eastern Roofing Corp., lost his footing.

"It looks like one of the operators of the crane reached into the tar and pulled the victim out, but the victim died here at the scene,"said Lt. Chris Smedick, Torrington police.

The rescuer, Claude Blackshev, was badly burned by the 500 degree tar. He was taken to the Greater Bridgeport Burn Center for treatment and was listed in fair condition.

Sarah Parks was working two doors from the site and saw the workers on the roof just before the accident.

"I noticed when I was coming across that there were some men up on the building, I saw the guys throwing stuff into the trailer between the two buildings,"and Parks.

The tearful workers were too upset to comment but police say they were close knit group. Halvorson's father-in-law was one of the workers who saw him fall to his death.

The incident is currently being investigated by Torrington police and federal safety investigators.
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