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Construction worker at DFW Airport dies after falling down elevator shaft

A motorist looks for parking at Terminal A near Gate A39 where a construction worker fell down an elevator shaft Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016.
A motorist looks for parking at Terminal A near Gate A39 where a construction worker fell down an elevator shaft Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. Star-Telegram Archives

A construction worker died after falling down an elevator shaft at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on Wednesday, authorities said Thursday.

He was identified as Craig Rowell, 55, of Point by the Tarrant County medical examiner’s website. Rowell had been airlifted to John Peter Smith Hospital, officials said, where he died just after midnight.

Airport CEO Sean Donohue informed the airport board on Thursday morning of Rowell’s death. He said the airport instituted a “safety stand-down” immediately after the accident and a full investigation is underway.

“We obviously are going to double down on our efforts to make sure everybody at this airport is focused on safety and taking care of themselves and their co-workers,” Donohue said.

Donohue said the airport is working with Rowell’s employer to help his family.

“The airport’s focus right now is to do everything we can to support his family and offer our deepest condolences to them and everyone involved,” Donohue said.

The worker fell in a walled-off construction area near Gate A39, airport spokesman David Magana said Wednesday. The distance of the fall and the reason he fell were unclear.

The cause of his death is listed on the medical examiner’s website as blunt force trauma of chest, abdomen and pelvis due to fall from height.

Work has stopped where the accident occurred, but construction continues on other parts of the airport’s terminal renovation.

The airport is spending $2.7 billion to upgrade its four original terminals, Terminals A, B, C and E. This is the first fatal accident since construction began on the project in 2010.

Rafael Sears: 817-390-7657, @searsrafael

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk

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