A Michigan man was killed over the weekend after he fell into a tank of sulfuric acid, with a temperature of 160 degrees, at a manufacturing plant -- where his body remained for an untold amount of time before being pulled out.
The incident happened in South Lyon, where the man was working at the Michigan Seamless Tube plant near the tank of acid used for the manufacturing process. As WWJ News Radio reported, the exact circumstances of the accident were not yet fully clear, including how he fell into the tank or how long he was there before co-workers saw him.
Other plant employees were able to pull the man out of the tank and quickly washing him off. He was rushed to the University of Michigan hospital but died of his injuries a few hours later.
Local police investigated the incident but said there is no indication of anything other than a tragic accident.
"We don't believe there was any foul play or criminal matter to investigate," South Lyon Police Chief Chris Sovik told WWJ News Radio.
"It is closed on our end. MIOSHA will take it from here."The man's name was not released. This is not the first time that someone has been killed after slipping into a tank of sulfuric acid in an industrial accident. In Northern California, an 18-year-old man was found dead in 2007 after falling into a waist-high vat of sulfuric acid at Coastal Circuits, a manufacturing plant in Redwood City.
As the Mercury News reported, the man's father discovered his body after the teen failed to come home from his shift at the plant. The worried father drove to the manufacturing plant, where he found his son's body just before 2 a.m.
The 18-year-old had been working the night shift at the plant, but management didn't quite know how he was there so late. They did say that the teenage employee was not wearing any safety gear on his face, which was a requirement for his position.
"This has been a devastating experience for all of those involved, including the family – we're trying to find out more conclusively what happened so we can share it with the media," said Laura Boozer, a Coastal Circuits vice president.
Police investigated and believe that the young man was overcome by fumes as he worked with the sulfuric acid in the copper plating tank. It was not clear how long he was in the tank before being found.
In Michigan, the man who died after falling into a tank of sulfuric acid leaves behind a wife and daughter.