School mechanic dies five months after boiler explosion

School mechanic dies five months after boiler explosion

A school mechanic died Wednesday, five months after a basement boiler blew up in his face, causing doctors to put him in a medically induced coma.

Christopher Trakimas, 62, a School District of Philadelphia employee for 25 years, died on Wednesday, his union, 32BJ SEIU, announced.

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“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our member, Chris Trakimas,” said 32BJ district area leader Ernie Bennett in a statement. “Chris was a devoted father, grandfather and a long-time school district mechanic.”

Trakimas was working on a boiler at F.S. Edmonds Elementary in the middle of the afternoonon Jan. 13 when it exploded, severely burning him and injuring another engineer.

Doctors fought to saveTrakimas’life while he was in a medically induced coma, but Trakimas never recovered.

Bennett pointed to the underfunded School District’s aging infrastructure as the cause of the explosion.

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“His death is a horrifying reminder that budget cuts can cost lives,” Bennett said. “The safety of the hardworking men and women who maintain our schools is our first priority. We are continuing to work with the district to make sure nothing like this ever happens again. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chris’s family and friends.”

The School District re-inspected all boilers in April.

They found 58 percent of them needed repairs, according to, and pledged to fix all boilers before next winter.