A man driving a cement truck was injured when the vehicle flipped upside down and trapped him at a construction site off of El Camino Real, prompting Palo Alto fire crews to conduct a rescue that lasted nearly an hour Friday afternoon, a battalion chief said.
Firefighters responded to a rescue requested at the construction site at 2600 El Camino Real around 12:30 p.m., fire Battalion Chief Kevin McNally said. When they arrived they saw the 10-wheeled cement truck was "literally 180-degrees upside down" and learned the man was pinned inside.
The incident was categorized as a "heavy rescue," requiring rescue crews to stop the engine from running in an effort to prevent the vehicle from rolling over, McNally said. It was "fairly difficult" to reach the man, who was stuck in the truck's cab. They used hydraulic cutting tools to reach him and extricate him from the vehicle.
The cement truck driver was the sole occupant and taken by ambulance to Stanford Hospital's trauma center, according to McNally. The battalion chief said the injured man, who was conscious and breathing, had injuries that appeared to be non-life-threatening.
The public was advised to expect delays in the area while fire and rescue crews are at the scene collecting their equipment and working to upright the vehicle, which will be "tricky" considering the construction site is below grade, according to McNally. Lanes on southbound El Camino Real were expected to be blocked for several hours.
Six firefighters were seen carrying the man away on a stretcher shortly before 1:30 p.m.
Mountain View firefighters assisted Palo Alto crews with the rescue.
Frank Polizzi, a California Department of Industrial Relations spokesman, said the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) was notified regarding the incident, which involved an employee of the company Graniterock, which is headquartered in Watsonville. The cement truck turned over, pinning the employee's arm, the company reported to the agency.
"Cal/OSHA is waiting on more information to determine if an inspection will be opened. If the employee is hospitalized (in the hospital for more than 24 hours for more than observation) then the incident is reportable," he said in an email, indicating at that point they could open an investigation.
A six-story, concrete slab Brutalist building that previously stood at the site was demolished by developer Sand Hill Property Company in December. Sand Hill Property plans to replace the structure with a four-story, 62,616-square-foot glass structure that will have a two-level garage.
The site is currently under excavation for a 258-stall underground parking garage. The new building would have about 55,000 square feet of office space. It would retain the underground garage currently at the site, adding a parking deck to the rear to create 31 additional parking spaces.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.