15-year-old dies after falling on first day of work for Alabama roofer, cops say

An underage Guatemalan boy died in Alabama Monday after falling nearly 40 feet off of a roof during his first day of on the job as a construction worker.

The 15-year-old boy, whose name was not released due to his age, fell through an unsupported section of the roof of a gray iron factory in Cullman, Ala., around 11 a.m. Monday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

His brother was also working with him at the time of the incident. The boy was a Guatemalan national who was living at a Cullman address before his death, police said.

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Safety equipment was installed on the roof but was not being used by workers, police said. The equipment involved harnesses for workers to be attached to a steel cable to prevent them from falling.

He was hired by W&W Restoration-- which was a subcontractor hired by Apex Roofing to complete a roofing project for Cullman Casting Corp. factory, according to police.

“The state of Alabama has regulations in relation to the employment of juveniles, however, Apex’s policy is to not hire anyone under the age of 19," Edward Merrell, an attorney for Apex Roofing, told Birmingham’s WIAT in a statement. "Apex also requires their subcontractors to comply with all state regulations and we learn a subcontractor does not follow state and federal regulations, Apex does not continue doing work with those subcontractors.”

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Police do not suspect foul play and believe the incident was an accident, Cullman police Lt. Todd Chiaranda told AL.com. Authorities are working with the Department of Labor to conduct an investigation into the matter to determine if the company was at fault for hiring the underage boy.