Man drowns in chocolate

July 13, 2009

An unidentified man fell into a tank of boiling chocolate and died.

Camden, NJ police said they were called to a North 36th Street warehouse owned by Lyons and Sons, and C & C Cola about 10:45 a.m., July 8.

But by the time rescue crews arrived, the unidentified man was already dead.

He had been in the vat of hot chocolate for about 10 minutes before rescue crews arrived.

When he was scooped from the chocolate it was too late.

He was declared dead not long after 11 a.m.

A co-worker tried to go into the tank to rescue the man, but failed. His clothes and firefighters’ gear were covered with some chocolate.

The 29-year-old man was among four workers on a platform above the vat who were dumping in pieces of solid chocolate to be melted down, said Jason Laughlin, spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.

“He somehow slipped and fell into the vat,” Laughlin said. “Inside the vat, he was hit by a piece of equipment called the agitator that’s used to stir, and that killed him.”

Laughlin said the vat at the Cocoa Services Inc plant in Camden was around eight feet deep.



I have seen people die when it stops or hits a bump. They fall forward and crack their head.

Five people working on Independence Day fireworks shows were killed by explosions, four of them by a single blast that rocked this remote village on the Outer Banks in NC.

The fifth died after an explosion at a fireworks show in Pennsylvania.

In another holiday accident, a pedestrian bridge collapsed in Indiana as fans were leaving a fireworks show, injuring 25 people.

The blast at Ocracoke, NC came as workers were unloading fireworks Saturday from a truck at the Anchorage Marina, shaking homes and businesses across the southern end of Ocracoke Island and rattling residents and tourists.

Earl Woodham, a spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said agents determined the cause was accidental. ATF will not investigate further, but a workplace safety agency such as the state Labor Department likely will try to find the specific cause, he said.

Dock master Robert Raborn was about 200 yards away from the truck and said the explosion was one of the loudest things he had ever heard.

“It was like 40 minutes worth of fireworks going off in four seconds,” Raborn said.

One of the workers died at the scene Saturday and three others died later at area hospitals, including one who died on Sunday, said Hyde County spokeswoman Jamie Tunnell.

Another person was listed in fair condition at the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at the UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill.

The Ocracoke victims worked for Melrose South Pyrotechnics near Rock Hill, S.C. The company said it had sent a representative to work with investigators.

Meanwhile, a silent parade was held Sunday in tribute to the victims and the people who responded to the explosion, following the intended route of Saturday’s Independence Day parade.

In Pennsylvania, state police fire marshals were investigating the death of a worker Saturday at the start of the grand finale of fireworks at Quakertown’s Memorial Park.

Quakertown Police Chief Scott McElree said authorities immediately halted the show and evacuated part of the park in eastern Pennsylvania.

Authorities did not immediately identify the man’s employer.

At Merrillville, Ind., the collapse of a wooden pedestrian bridge dropped at least 50 people into a lake Saturday night and injured about half of them, police said. None of the injuries was life-threatening, authorities said.

The collapse occurred at Hidden Lake Park in Merrillville, about 45 miles southeast of Chicago, as spectators were leaving a fireworks display at about 10 p.m.

The wooden, cable-suspended bridge could support about 40 people at a time but as many as 80 were on it when it gave way, said Ross Township Trustee John Rooda, who attended the fireworks show. The township operates the park.

“The problem is it was overloaded,” Rooda said.

In Albuquerque, N.M., a man watching a fireworks show was killed by lightning from a thunderstorm Saturday evening and his wife was also injured, police said. Names of the victims were not released and authorities said the woman was listed in stable condition at a hospital.

And in Missoula, Mont., an 8-year-old girl was accidentally electrocuted and two other children were injured while watching a fireworks show Saturday night from a church rooftop. Missoula County Sheriff Mike McMeekin said the children had climbed on some air-conditioning equipment.

Home fireworks shows also proved dangerous.

In Wisconsin, Jefferson County Sheriff Paul Milbrath said a 12-year-old boy suffered a head injury when he was hit by one of the pyrotechnics fired at a July Fourth party. The boy was taken to a hospital in Milwaukee. His name and condition weren’t released.

The Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital in Birmingham, Ala., treated five patients who were hurt in fireworks accidents, spokeswoman Gail Short said Sunday.

Flames from fireworks damaged at least seven homes in western Washington state and destroyed some ranch housing near Harrah on the Yakama Indian Reservation, causing more than $2 million in damage, authorities said.

A death at Disney

July 7, 2009

The investigation continues into yesterday’s monorail accident at Walt Disney World Resort that killed a train operator.

Two monorails collided. It’s the first fatal accident in the 38-year history of the park’s system. Besides one person killed, authorities say at least five people were treated for minor injuries.

“A monorail was waiting to come into the station … or it did not leave the station, and the other one cleared through the station, and there was a head-on collision,” the male caller said.

The accident occurred as the park resort was closing early Sunday and one train was being transferred off the rail line, said Zoraya Suarez, a Disney spokeswoman. She declined to describe the circumstances of the crash further.

A Disney spokesman identified the operator as a 21-year-old college student. A friend describes him as a smart, talented guy who was very good with computers and “not reckless at all.”


Firework Accidents.

July 4, 2009


This is from the CDC data.

A man, his son and a co-worker hired to clean a putrid dry well at a waste transfer station died Monday when the son fell into a space filled with toxic fumes and the other two went to help him, authorities said.

The son had slipped down a narrow shaft, police said, and his father had grabbed a ladder and climbed down to rescue him while their co-worker followed.

Police identified the victims as Shlomo Dahan, 49, and Harel Dahan, 23, both of Brooklyn, and Rene Francisco Rivas, 52, of Queens.

Dahan family friend Abe Rosenthal arrived at the privately owned site in Queens with a rabbi after learning of Monday afternoon’s accident. He said Shlomo Dahan owned a sewer company and his son worked with him.

“I can’t believe what happened,” Rosenthal said. “He was the sweetest guy, a good father.”

Dahan and his son were cleaning out a dry well that collects construction water and waste from the transfer station, where garbage is sorted for recycling. The entrance to the dry well is through a manhole that’s 3 feet wide and leads to a catch basin 18 feet deep.

The workers apparently were overcome by hydrogen sulfide, a toxic gas common in wells like the one being cleaned, said John Sudnik, fire department deputy assistant chief of the Queens borough command. The medical examiner will determine what caused their deaths.

The gas is created by water and decomposing garbage. About 100 parts per million of the gas in the air is considered very dangerous, and Sudnik said crews were recording readings at the scene of 200 parts per million.

He said the workers were subcontractors at the Royal Waste Services transfer station, which is attached to the Regal Recycling company. A man who answered the phone there had no immediate comment.

Emergency crews were called around 2:30 p.m. Monday and were on the scene seven minutes later. The workers were dead by the time rescuers reached them, Sudnik said. It took about 20 minutes to pull their bodies from the well.

The transfer station is in an industrial area, with a gravel road leading to the facility, not far from a Long Island Rail Road station. The stench of garbage permeates the area. A sign saying “putrescible solid waste” and another that says “No drums, asbestos, hazardous materials, medical waste or tires” hang at the gate.