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Man's death at construction site prompts federal investigation

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A federal investigation is underway after a man is killed in an apparent construction site accident.

A possible freak accident in Mangilao - the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is now investigating after a construction worker is killed. Guam fire confirming the victim was struck by a backhoe bucket while spotting for the operator who was digging a hole. It happened around 4:30 pm on Sunday on Palomares street just off the back road to Andersen Air Force Base.

Romeo Merjilla said, "My daughter said, 'Daddy, there's an accident that happened' and then I had no idea." Merjilla has been living in this neighborhood for more than two decades, telling KUAM News, "This a very quiet place. Very, very quiet. I don't see any tragic accident like that. This is the first time I see there is a construction accident in here. "It's really sad of course. It's sad to hear something like that because I think safety is not addressed."

Safety concerns now being looked into. It's safety Romeo is all too familiar with, as he says he's worked in the construction field for ten years, as he said, "They should always observe the safety because that's the first thing you need to learn before you go to the construction site.

"All the basic safety things you need, safety shoes, harness, and then hard hat. That's the most important thing and when you are digging of course you need a rigger to watch what is going on."

OSHA is now trying to find out what went wrong. According to their Honolulu office, one of its compliance officers just happens to be on Guam. The OSHA employee declined comment. A spokesman in the San Francisco regional office confirms they are investigating, but would provide no further details.

The medical examiner's office performed the autopsy today on the victim who has been identified as Jay Wasisang. However, the M.E. is not allowed to release the autopsy results. 

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