News Feature | July 18, 2016

One Worker Lives While Other Dies In Wastewater Plant Accident

Dominique 'Peak' Johnson

By Peak Johnson

One of two men injured in an accident at the Wichita Falls River Road Wastewater Treatment Plant, in Wichita Falls, TX, has died of his injuries.

The city said that 42-year-old Daniel Arrendondo had worked for the Wasterwater Collections and Wastewater Treatment divisions for a year and a half, according to a release obtained by Times Record News.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and co-worker," the release said.

The condition of the second worker, David Sheppard, was not known, though he was listed as being in serious condition.

The pair were taken to United Regional and then flown to Dallas Parkland Hospital, reported. Daniel Nix, utilities operations manager, told Times Record News that the workers were conducting routine maintenance on a pump when they were exposed to hydrogen sulfide gas.

Nix added that other personnel at the plants found them and called police and fire emergency responders. Road access was closed for a period of time to make sure the injured workers could be rushed to the hospital.

"The procedure is in an extreme hazardous environment, they aren't to go in and rescue," Nix said.

Two other employees went back into the area to finish the repairs, and put the plant back online.

According to, Wichita Falls Fire Department (WFFD) officials said they received a call around five on July 2 that an unknown number of people were possibly in the basement of the plant doing repairs.

"So two rescues were made. The two individuals were semi-responsive. Both of them were transported to the hospital, and from what I understand, at this point they are being air evaced to Parkland,” Todd Mudd, the WFFD battalion chief said.

Officials said there was no threat to the public because the situation was contained to the facility.

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