A firefighting crew was recently conducting a joint training exercise when an emergency call went out at a location just a short distance away. Two men were victims in one of Illinois’ industrial accidents at an agricultural supply plant. Now, there will be an investigation into the incident by both state and federal agencies.
The deaths occurred when workers were assigned the task of cleaning out a sealed rail car that was hooked up to several others on a track line that runs through the plant property. The first victim reportedly released the seal on the top of the car and then fell into the freight car as toxic carbon monoxide was leaking out. A second worker observed the first man’s fall and went in after him.
The man who attempted the rescue died at the scene from exposure to the gas. The first worker was transported to a medical facility but was unable to survive the effects of the toxic fumes. While the firefighters were quickly on the scene, they were unable to conduct a successful rescue in light of the presence of large quantities of the gas.
The agricultural plant has provided no information about the incident or the two workers who died as a result. OSHA will conduct an investigation into whether all safety precautions were in place before the men were instructed to clean the tanker car, as will the local Illinois authorities. Whenever a person suffers in one of these industrial accidents while working, he or she may qualify for workers’ compensation insurance benefits, and in the case of these men, their families may receive death benefits from the program. This benefits program was instituted to help provide monetary assistance to workers who are sidelined by an injury or work-related illness. Employees who experience difficulty filing a claim can seek information from resources concerning how to address the issue and file a claim in a timely fashion.
Source: pjstar.com, “Two workers killed Tuesday in industrial accident at Agridyne in Pekin“, Michael Smothers, June 24, 2014
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