LAS VEGAS (AP) — A construction worker was killed and another worker was injured in a tunnel under construction at Lake Mead after some material became loose and pressure sent grout flying through the air.
The two men were alone in a segment of the 3-foot-diameter tunnel near Lake Mead National Recreation Area when they were hit by the exploding grout material about 4:30 p.m. Monday.
The second man sustained minor, non-life-threatening injuries, Southern Nevada Water Authority spokesman Bronson Mack said. The workers were not identified.
The tunnel is part of a troubled effort to drill a third drinking water supply line to the Lake Mead reservoir. The multi-million-dollar project has been beset by flooding and cave-ins since construction began in 2009, and work has been delayed by about two years.
Workers in other areas of the tunnel were not affected by Monday’s accident. Early media reports that more than a dozen workers were trapped in a collapsed tunnel or exposed to toxic fumes were false, the water authority said.
Las Vegas depends on Lake Mead for about 90 percent of its drinking water. Construction on the third tunnel began amid concerns over the Colorado River reservoir’s shrinking supply. The third intake is designed to keep water flowing to Las Vegas even if drought shrinks the lake below the level of the two existing conduits.
The new tunnel, bored through solid rock beneath Lake Mead, will be 3 miles long.
“During the assembly of some segments of the tunnel ring, one of the segments became loose, and the grout material exploded and hit two workers,” Southern Nevada Water Authority spokeswoman Nicole Lise said.
Mack said the tunnel is not flooded and is still intact. He said the water authority will conduct an investigation into the accident.
Engineers were inspecting the site late Monday, and it was unclear when construction might resume.
The project was delayed last year after a cavern 600 feet underground filled with water and muck. In another delay, some mining equipment was lost to flooding.
More Related Stories
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- UK Military: London attack victim was a "model soldier"
- Billionaire hedge funder: Babies, breast-feeding "kill" focus, keep women from succeeding
- "Bookless library" set to open in Texas
- 2 more arrested in London attacks
- Glenn Beck: CNN interview with atheist tornado survivor was a setup!
- Incoming BBC news director on journalism gender gap: "We can do better"
- Illegal construction, shoddy materials at fault in Bangladesh factory disaster
- Ahead of Obama's speech, U.S. acknowledges four American drone killings
- Must-see morning clip: Bill O'Reilly visits "The Daily Show"
- Lawsuit alleges anti-gay hiring practices at ExxonMobil
- Boy Scouts poised to vote, still greatly divided on gay youth
- House supporters of KXL received $56m from fossil fuel industry
- 80-year-old becomes oldest to climb Mount Everest
- Before FBI shooting man implicated self, Tsarnaev in triple murder
- Paul McCartney backs Pussy Riot
- UK emergency committee convenes after attack
- Brave scout leader tried to reason with London attackers
- If Alex Pareene were a cable news executive...
- El Salvador court delays ruling on abortion case while woman's life hangs in the balance
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11