Thursday, July 9, 2009
Man OD's On Chocolate
A 29-year-old man died after falling into a vat of molten chocolate.
Vincent Smith II was with three workers dumping chunks of chocolate into the simmering liquid when he somehow lost his balance and fell in.
One of his co-workers, who went in after him, is shown outside the factory in Camden, New Jersey, his clothes covered in chocolate. All workers at the plant are charged for any chocolate they eat or take home. It was not immediately clear if this policy would be enforced against the co-worker.
His co-worker inside the vat had died by the time emergency services arrived at the scene ten minutes later.
Jason Laughlin, spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor's Office, said an investigation has been launched into the incident.
"He somehow slipped and fell into the vat," he said, making short work of the investigation.
"Inside the vat, he was hit by a piece of equipment called the agitator that's used to stir, and that killed him."
Mr Laughlin said the vat at the Cocoa Services Inc plant was around 8 ft deep. The dead man was only 5'10".
"At this point there's no suggestion of foul play," he added. "It appears to be an accident.
"This man unfortunately fell into this vat of chocolate and died before anyone could rescue him."
Cocoa Services employs another company - Lyons and Sons - to do the mixing at the factory. A company spokesman said the entire vat of chocolate, worth about $10,000, would have to be discarded because the dead worker was wearing shoes that were dirty and probably covered with germs. "It's just too risky to try to salvage it," he said.