Homer City Generating Station

A large crow flew from its perch in a tree on Penn View Mountain silhouetted against the massive Homer City Generating Station, which is several miles away.

David Knox, communications director for NRG Energy, operator of the plant, said today the “individual is out of surgery and recovering.”

The man, whom Knox declined to identify, remains in serious condition.

Knox said the man was a contractor working at the coal-burning power station.

He said officials would be on scene today to begin their investigation into the incident.

“Additional sources from both companies, the contractor and NRG, are going to be at the plant today to further understand what happened and prevent it happening in the future,” Knox said.

“Our main concern is safety. Our thoughts are with the individual who was injured and his family.”

At 8:53 a.m. Tuesday, the Indiana County Emergency Management Agency dispatched firefighters from Coral-Graceton, Black Lick and Homer City, Indiana County’s Team 900 and Citizens’ Ambulance Service for a physical rescue at the facility.

A landing zone eventually was set up on Power Plant Road.

The man was taken by medical helicopter to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown for surgery.

Logan Dellafiora, a second assistant fire chief with Coral-Graceton, said an emergency response team at the facility was first to arrive and then asked for outside help.

“The majority of the rescue was completed by the power plant’s emergency response group,” he said. “They arrived and started getting their air bags and other rescue equipment into place, then they requested the fire companies for assistance.

“Once we got there, we were able to get machinery moved enough to slide the man’s arm out.”

Dellafiora estimated the recovery effort took 20 to 30 minutes.

“I don’t know what the (man’s) medical diagnosis is or the outlook, but it was a major injury,” Dellafiora said. “He got the part from his hand to his elbow stuck in the machine.”

Ron Musselman is an award-winning writer who covers sports and news for The Indiana Gazette.