Man Trapped in Silo Expected Back at Work This Week

Carlos Barbosa, 47, is doing "perfectly fine," according to an official at Universal Wilde, his employer, which is launching an investigation into the incident.

Carlos Barbosa, the 47-year-old man who was , has a few "bumps and bruises" but is doing "perfectly fine," according to Steve Duffy, director of Human Resources at Universal Wilde, the company where Barbosa worked.

Universal Wilde is a marketing services company that does printing and direct mail projects, among other things.

Barbosa, a printing press operator at the company, had climbed up into the silo, which was filled with paper cuttings, to unclog a jam Thursday night when he got trapped, Duffy said. He said silo ultimately deposits the paper cuttings into a recycling dupmster.

Using a cell phone, , and the Somerville Fire Department rescued him "just in time" by cutting holes in the silo and pulling him out, according to Somerville Deputy Fire Chief Robert Lyons, speaking at the scene Thursday night.

Barbosa was able to talk on the phone with his rescuers while he was trapped, but he eventually developed breathing troubles, and "all of a sudden, we were running out of time," Lyons said. The deputy chief said it was a "nerve-wracking" rescue because sparks from the firefighters' metal-cutting tools threatened to ignite the paper inside the silo.

According to WCVB, Barbosa, from Rehoboth, also called his wife from inside the silo to tell her he was going to die and say goodbye.

Somerville Patch left a message at the Rehoboth number listed for a Carlos Barbosa but had not heard back at the time of this posting.

Duffy said it is customary for workers to climb into the silo to unclog jams. He wouldn't comment on safety techniques used by the company when workers climb into silos.

He said the company will investigate the incident and said he expects the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, commonly known as OSHA, will likely investigate the matter, too. "I'm sure they will," he said.

"He's fine. We're glad that he's fine. We're very pleased with the police and fire departments of Somerville, and we're looking forward to having him come back to work this week," Duffy said.

Brian McCarthy April 09, 2012 at 07:07 PM
This is one scary story to read. I pray that the man is ok.
Jeff Levine April 10, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Very pleased to hear he's doing OK, also grateful for SFD's ingenuity in getting him out safely!


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