Worker Dies After Accidentally Getting Buried in Yard Debris in Montgomery County

A worker died after accidentally becoming buried by a pile of yard debris at a Montgomery County facility Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

Officials identified the worker as Gladis Loren Melendrez Fuentes, a contractor who worked at the Montgomery County Solid Waste Transfer Station.

Montgomery County Fire & Rescue were called about 1:40 p.m. Thursday to the site in Derwood, Maryland, where Fuentes was buried beneath a large pile of yard debris and tree stumps, they said.

Fire spokesman Pete Piringer says the worker was buried for 15 minutes before she was found and extricated with traumatic injuries. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

"My deepest condolences go out to her family, friends, and colleagues," Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said in a statement late Thursday. "This is a very difficult day. We made grief counselors available for station staff and others. The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection is a part of a big family of County workers, and we are all affected by this tragic loss."

Montgomery County Police are conducting an accidental death investigation, Piringer said. Several other workers were evaluated for non-life-threatening injuries, he said.

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