Cement worker’s body found in Philadelphia-area silo collapse

After more than three days of searching, firefighters found the body of a worker who was missing after a silo filled with cement collapsed in Bristol, near Philadelphia, township police said.

he missing worker was identified as Anthony Gabriele, 48, of Tullytown. The collapse happened at the Riverside Cement distribution facility in the Riverside Industrial Complex.

At 4:45pm Sunday, searchers were digging the body out of the wreckage by hand, according to a police department. Video that recorded Gabriele’s final moments showed him inside the silo’s control room when the structure collapsed, Bristol Police Chief Ralph Johnson said.

“Based on his position in the video, firefighters were able to deduce where in the rubble he would most likely be found,” he said. “Firefighters focused their efforts in that area and located Mr. Gabriele.”

The Bucks County coroner removed the body, police said. Gabriele’s family was at the scene of the collapse awaiting news when firefighters discovered his body, Johnson said, and they received notification there.

Police, fire, and medical technicians had worked through freezing temperatures since Thursday to find Gabriele, Johnson said. They were assisted by construction and engineering professionals and personnel from Silvi Group, Riverside Cement’s parent company, he said.

By Sunday, 70 firefighters from 10 departments were helping the recovery effort, said Carl Pierce, chief of the Edgely Fire Company in Levittown. Work included vacuuming and digging by hand through tons of powdery cement.

A Bristol patrol officer discovered the collapse of the 125-foot silo about 12:30am Thursday, police said. 

Emergency responders had not left the scene since the collapse was reported before dawn Thursday, Pierce said, even though it was soon apparent Gabriele could not have survived.

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