Bridge Inspector Hurt After Fall

October 11, 2011 Updated Oct 11, 2011 at 6:37 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

October 11, 2011 Updated Oct 11, 2011 at 6:37 PM EDT

(Buffalo, NY) A bridge inspector working for New York State is recovering after falling ten feet into a confined access pit that had water at the bottom.

Authorities say the man suffered head and shoulder injuries but they were not "life threatening."

The accident happened Tuesday morning when a two-man crew from Ravi Engineering & Land Surveying, P.C. were inspecting a bridge on Bailey Avenue that crossed the Buffalo River.

Ravi Engineering is contracted by the NY State Department of Transportation to do bridge inspections.

The Bailey Avenue Bridge was once a lift bridge and still contains substantial structures which are underneath and enclosed.

Inspectors have to climb down ladders into access areas to look for structural damage and corrosion.

In this case, the inspection was just being completed when the assistant team leader slipped and fell approximately 10 feet into the pit.

Bailey Ave between McKinley Parkway and Elk Street was closed for over an hour as emergency crews responded to the incident.

Initially, there were concerns that the worker had fallen into the Buffalo River because his clothes were wet.

Authorities did not release the man's name but said he was in "good shape" after the fall.