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Contract Railroad Worker Killed In Crane Collapse at Derailment Site

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Jackson Township, Indiana – November 3, 2011)

A 43-year-old supervisor for a contract derailment firm was killed Thursday when a crane being used by his firm to clear a CSX derailment that happened Wednesday in Jackson Township, Indiana collapsed and crushed him.

Michael Bowling of Dyer, IN died instantly when the crane, owned by Cranemasters, Inc. of Hammond, IN, which performs emergency derailment services for railroads, fell over on him, pinning him beneath it.

Porter County Coroner Bob Byrd said the crane, which was being used to lift some of the 14 derailed cars, became unstable and tipped over, killing the victim. Bowling’s body could not be removed for three hours following the tragedy due to the need of more stable equipment to free his body. While Porter County Sheriff’s Lt. Chris Eckert said the cause of the Chicago-bound train’s derailment was track misalignment, CSX Spokeswoman Carla Groleau was claiming the wreck was “still under investigation.”

Writer Kevin Nevers of the Chesterton Tribune said that the stretch of track where the accident occurred was “posted at a 50 mile-per-hour limit,” and “has been the site of several previous derailments over the past few years.”


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