The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that Staff Sgt. Emily Elizabeth Clayburn, who lost her life in an industrial accident last week, was killed by a falling 2,400-pound refueling boom.
Clayburn, 29, a Palatine Bridge native, worked in shipping and receiving with the 6th Air Mobility Wing at MacDill Air Force Base. She was helping to unpack a new boom from a crate when it fell on her.
The boom was designed to be installed on a refueling aircraft, allowing it to fill up the tanks of other aircraft in midflight.
The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s office, which originally determined the exact circumstances of Clayburn’s death, could not release its report to The Gazette on Monday, as it was a holiday and few people were working there.
Sherry Filippone, an forensic investigator with the Medical Examiner’s Office, could only comment on the internal cause of death: “There was a blunt impact to the torso causing vertebral fractures along with spinal cord concussion and contusion.”
In simpler language, she said Clayburn likely did not suffer.
The Tampa Bay Times further reported that the 6th Air Mobility Wing has convened a board to investigate the accident further.