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A 55-year-old contractor working at a Ford plant in Dearborn died Wednesday after falling from a wooden catwalk near a crane he was inspecting, according to a preliminary report released by the Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

"The walkway collapsed under him. He fell 30-50 feet to the concrete floor," officials said in the brief report. "EMS was called and he was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased."

The accident occurred at the Dearborn Diversified Manufacturing Plant, according to officials. Ford released a statement Wednesday indicating that the man fell from the crane, while the MIOSHA report specifies that he fell from a walkway while walking toward the crane.

"We are saddened that a contractor working at our Dearborn Diversified Manufacturing Plant this morning passed away as a result of injuries suffered when he fell from a crane," officials said in the Ford statement. "We offer our sincerest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. The safety and security of everyone in our plants is our highest priority. We are cooperating fully with the investigation."

The Dearborn Fire Department did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. Dearborn police did not make a run to the plant, an assistant to the police chief said.

MIOSHA learned of the incident through a media inquiry and sent a compliance officer to the plant, spokeswoman Tanya Baker said. An investigation has been opened and "could take weeks or months," she added.

jdickson@detroitnews.com

Staff Writer Holly Fournier contributed

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