1 worker dies in accident at Fukushima nuclear plant

One worker at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant died Friday in an accident in which he was buried under falling sand and concrete debris while digging a hole, the plant operator and police said.

It was the first death of a worker engaged in containing a nuclear accident at the Fukushima plant that started in March 2011, according to the operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. The utility said it will suspend the whole operation within the complex Saturday for safety checking.

The worker in his 50s, who was employed by a subcontractor of the company known as TEPCO, was buried while working near a storage tank for radioactive waste. He was pulled out by co-workers but later confirmed dead at a local hospital, the utility said.

"I feel very sorry and mourn the loss" of the worker, said TEPCO spokesman Masayuki Ono.