OSHA investigating Key Largo road workers' deaths

Officials are trying to figure out what killed three men working underground on a road project in the Florida keys.

According to Monroe County spokeswoman Cammy Clark, one of the men working for the county's contractor went down a drainage manhole Monday morning to investigate why a newly paved Key Largo road near Mile Marker 106 was settling nearby.

Clark says the worker got trapped, and then three other workers, a firefighter and two sheriff's deputies tried to help him.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Becky Herrin says three of the workers and the firefighter "collapsed for unknown reasons."

Herrin says two workers were pronounced dead after being pulled from the hole. The body of the third man was recovered Monday afternoon.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office identified the three dead men as: Elway Gray, 34, of Fort Lauderdale, Louis O'Keefe, 49, of Little Torch Key and Robert Wilson, 24, of Summerland Key.

The three men worked for Douglas N. Higgins, a construction company doing contract work for Monroe County, officials said.

The firefighter and three deputies who were exposed to fumes were hospitalized and five nearby homes were evacuated until mid-afternoon.

A hazmat team from Miami-Dade County performed tests in the pipe where the workers collapsed and the tests revealed methane gas and hydrogen sulphide gas a low oxygen levels, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be conducting an investigation, officials said.

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