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Contractor Killed During Pipeline Construction in Pennsylvania

A contractor died Tuesday during the construction of a natural gas pipeline in Northern Pennsylvania after the excavator he was operating rolled several times. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to state police.

Ricky L. Dettman, 55, of Nebraska, was working on Energy Transfer Partners LP’s 24-inch diameter Canton lateral project in Tioga County. It is expected to help move Marcellus Shale natural gas to markets throughout the country. 

“Sadly, there was an accident today that resulted in the death of an employee of the contractor that is building a natural gas pipeline for Energy Transfer Partners LP,” the company said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and all those who knew him.”

ETP spokeswoman Vicki Granado said the company could not offer additional details or any further comment because it did not want to speak on behalf of Dettman’s company.

Dettman was an employee of Houston-based Price Gregory International Inc., which specializes in pipeline construction and related services. The company could not be reached to comment.

The Tioga County coroner's office said Dettman died of head injuries. The excavator he was operating was making its way up a steep grade when it tumbled and rolled several times, according to state police. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident and sent an inspector to the site on Tuesday.

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