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Victim Buried Alive by Sugar, Coroner Says

A 50-year-old New Jersey man was killed by sugar during an industrial accident in Falls Township on Monday, officials said.

Janio Salinas Valerda was buried alive Monday afternoon after several tons of processed sugar engulfed him inside a hopper at CSC Sugar on Roebling Road at the old U.S. Steel site in Falls Township, officials said.

Bucks County Coroner Dr. Joseph Campbell ruled the 50-year-old Edgewater Park, N.J. resident’s cause of death as asphyxiation after a late Tuesday evening autopsy.

Investigators said Valerda used a lift to get in the narrow bottom of the large hopper to try to clear a clog when sugar began to pour in.

Campbell said the victim tried, yet was unable to escape before being buried in a “bin as big as a room.”

Workers at the facility noticed Valerda was missing for nearly an hour and became concerned when they saw the empty lift, the coroner said.

Other employees at the facility noticed a clog persisted in the hopper and called a subcontractor who opened an access panel and saw Valerda’s jeans inside the piece of equipment at around 2:30 p.m., Campbell said. Emergency crews were immediately dispatched and workers began the 45 minute process to empty the tank, officials said.

Fire Marshal Rich Dippolito said rescue crews were forced to cut entry into the hopper to retrieve the body.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the incident.

“This appears to have been a tragic accident,” police Lt. Hank Ward said.

Related:

Worker Dead at Falls Sugar Facility

Pete February 27, 2013 at 07:37 PM
It comes down to personal safety. It isn`t just the company that is responsible but it must fall on the workers also. I work on equipment all the time and wont touch it unless i make sure it is safe first.
seattlesonic February 28, 2013 at 04:56 PM
Heard the fall was sweet n low and he fell like a domino. He had a splenda life.
MAC February 28, 2013 at 07:55 PM
Really seattlesonic to make a joke, just think if it was your family or friend member
pissed March 02, 2013 at 12:05 AM
None of you know what happened this article is completely wrong it needs to be removed until you get you get your facts straight!!
DJ March 04, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Seriously, considering this is still so Sugar in the Raw.

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