A worker at a Waste Management recycling plant in Holmesburg was killed Tuesday morning when a ton of paper fell on him, police said in a news release Tuesday afternoon.

Police said that shortly before 7:30 a.m., the 42-year-old man was "performing a routine inspection of his forklift" near "large bales of tightly packed recyclable paper" when another worker operating a forklift nearby hit the bales of cardboard, and "in a cascade effect," one of the large bales toppled onto the victim. Each weighs about a ton.

Medics took the man to Aria Health's Torresdale campus, where he was pronounced dead at 8:24 a.m.

The Waste Management facility, at 5201 Bleigh Avenue, is the company's only recycling center in Philadelphia, serving the city and suburbs, John Hambrose, Waste Management's regional spokesman, said Tuesday.

Officer Tanya Little said police will not release the man's name because the incident was an accident.

The Northeast Detective Division is investigating the incident. The federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration will conduct its own investigation as well, Leni Fortson, an OSHA spokeswoman said.

Hambrose, in an emailed statement, said: "Today is a day of profound sadness for the family of the deceased and for the Waste Management family. This is a heartbreaking incident and our deepest sympathies go out to the family of the deceased."

He said the company is "working with local authorities and would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the first responders who attended and assisted at the scene."

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@julieshawphilly