February 23, 2012
A 26-year-old worker at a Clinton, North Carolina, meat packing plant died in a tragic work related accident this past weekend. According to reports from WRAL News, the accident happened this past Saturday, just after 12:30 in the morning at the Smithfield Packing Plant located on E. Railroad Street.
Reports from the Clinton Police Department say that the worker, who had been employed in the plant’s waste water department for less than two years, was cleaning a waste tanker when he was asphyxiated by fumes in the tank and went unconscious. By the time his co-workers found him, the young man was suffering from cardiac arrest. He was taken to the Sampson Regional Medical Center where he later died.
A spokeswoman for the state Department of Labor, Delores Quesenberry, stated that the agency would be testing the air around the tanker to see if the deadly gas methane, which can be emitted from the sludge held in the tank, played any part in the man’s death. If high levels of noxious gases are found around the tank, it could mean that his employer should have supplied him with a breathing apparatus for safety. An autopsy of the victim’s body has also been ordered to determine the cause of death.