Naugatuck man dies in construction accident at Sikorsky Airport

The tower at Sikorsky Memorial Airport (WTNH / Brian Spyros)

STRATFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Police and federal workplace safety officials are investigating an industrial accident that killed a Naugatuck man at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday.

According to officials, 57-year-old Antonio Simoes, a worker for Manafort Construction, was in a trench using a gasoline-powered saw to cut a water main when the saw kicked back and caused a fatal cut to the his neck. Simoes was pronounced dead at the scene. Manafort says he had worked for the company since 1996.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim’s family and to his co-workers at Manafort,” said Andrew Nunn, the city’s chief administrative officer. “That is our primary concern.”

“Manafort’s safety team was immediately dispatched to the project site to begin its investigation,” a Manafort spokesperson said in a statement. “In addition, a grief counselor was on site to counsel and console our employees… To lose an employee is heartbreaking, our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.”

The airport was closed at 11:30 a.m. because the incident cut off water supply to part of it. Work to repair the water main resumed at 2:30 p.m., and the airport reopened at 5 p.m.

Construction crews working on water mains at Sikorsky Airport (WTNH / George Roelofsen)
Construction crews working on water mains at Sikorsky Airport (WTNH / George Roelofsen)

The work being done was part of ongoing airport safety upgrades, which is expected to be completed this fall.

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