Oberlin worker injured while repairing water main

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 3:23 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2022 at 9:45 PM CDT
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Oberlin, LA (KPLC) - The Town of Oberlin was added to the list of areas under water advisories this week, after a broken water line nearly took the life of the worker trying to fix it.

“We could’ve lost a very valuable person,” Councilman and Mayor Pro Tempore Bobby Thomas said. “Not just a worker, but a person. He is a human being.”

As the hole began to fill with water, the worker’s foot was stuck, according to town officials.

“When I got up there, he had water up to his waist, but I was told it was as high as his neck,” Thomas said.

Oberlin police were able to free his foot, but his arm then became stuck in the pipes. The man was rushed to the hospital, where he is undergoing treatment on his arm.

Thomas said this is an accident that could have been avoided. Oberlin received a USDA grant to improve its water infrastructure, and Thomas said the water line shouldn’t be in service if officials followed the original overhaul plan.

“But of course, that didn’t take place,” Thomas said. “We are still currently using old lines, and with $4.7 million, none of our old lines should be active right now.”

Oberlin officials want to thank Kinder and Southwest Allen Water District for assisting with the repairs.

A Town of Oberlin worker was injured while repairing a water main Wednesday.
A Town of Oberlin worker was injured while repairing a water main Wednesday.(Angelina Hebert)

The water is back on, but town officials say there are at least 10 more leaks to fix.

The town is currently under a boil advisory.

A Town of Oberlin worker was injured while repairing a water main Wednesday.
A Town of Oberlin worker was injured while repairing a water main Wednesday.(Angelina Hebert)
A Town of Oberlin worker was injured while repairing a water main Wednesday.
A Town of Oberlin worker was injured while repairing a water main Wednesday.(Angelina Hebert)
A Town of Oberlin worker was injured while repairing a water main Wednesday.
A Town of Oberlin worker was injured while repairing a water main Wednesday.(Angelina Hebert)