Metro-East News

Dumpster falls and crushes man to death in East St. Louis, officials say

A St. Clair County coroner investigator, as well as East St. Louis police and fire crews, responded to Wastequip on Friday morning after a man working on a dumpster died.
A St. Clair County coroner investigator, as well as East St. Louis police and fire crews, responded to Wastequip on Friday morning after a man working on a dumpster died. mcooley@bnd.com

A man finishing painting a large waste container was killed when he was crushed by the falling container on Friday morning at a business in East St. Louis.

A St. Clair County coroner’s investigator was called to Wastequip, 2701 Converse Ave., on Friday afternoon.

St. Clair County Coroner Calvin Dye Sr. identified the deceased man as Kenneth J. Woltering, of Carlyle. Dye said the victim was pronounced dead at 2701 Converse Ave., the scene of the accident, at 1:40 p.m. An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow, Dye said.

Dye said Woltering was underneath the dumpster putting primer on it when the accident occurred. He said, “It appears the jack that was supporting the dumpster fell.”

East St. Louis Patrolman Andre Henson said the company makes and paints dumpsters. He confirmed the man was working on a container that was lifted so it could be painted underneath. The man had worked at the company for some time.

“There are two bars on the front, and two bars on the other end ... and (one of the four) gave way,” Henson said.

The man had apparently been painting the underside of the large container, which is the largest the company makes and is used by grocery stores to haul away empty boxes, Henson said. Employees told police the container likely weighs more than 15,000 pounds.

About 10 employees were working on Friday morning. Henson said when the buzzer rang for lunch, a supervisor went to get the man who was painting because the buzzer could not be heard inside the painting apparatus.

The supervisor immediately called emergency services; it was not clear when the man had become pinned under the container.

The supervisor “wanted to make sure he got lunch,” Henson said. “It was a catered lunch today.”

Mary Cooley: 618-239-2535, @MaryCooleyBND
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