Canadian Teen Dies After Being Buried in Hot Asphalt

A 15-year-old boy working on a construction site just north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, died Friday after he was buried under a mountain of searing-hot asphalt, fire officials said.

The boy, too young to work on construction jobs under Manitoba labor laws, was part of a paving crew working on a parking lot in the Winnipeg community of Stony Mountain.

"I believe (the truck) dumped off way too much asphalt unexpectedly," said Stony Mountain fire chief Wallace Drysdale.

Drysdale said he was among the first on the scene, and "we just saw the hair sticking out" of the mound of asphalt. He said that crews could only work digging the boy out for four- or five-minute intervals because their feet were burning from the heat.

Police and labor officials were investigating.

Richard Hill, who lives close to the accident scene, heard the boy scream and ran over.

"I guess it was the truck driver that said, `There's a guy buried in here' and I ... found a shovel, and me and another guy tried digging him out," Hill said.

It took about 15 minutes to get the boy out. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they had identified the boy but were not releasing his name immediately at the request of his family.

Manitoba's Employment Standards Code bars young people under 16 from working on construction sites, as well as other industrial locations where there are drilling rigs and scaffolding.

The death has touched everyone in Stony Mountain, Drysdale said.

"Our (fire department) members knew this person, 'cause it's a small town," he said. "It's very hard."