A horrific industrial plant accident has left a sixty-year-old chemical plant worker dead, a community stunned, a family grieving and an investigation underway. Dana Swisher had worked for Techmetals, Inc. in Dayton, Ohio for thirty years when he fell into a vat filled with corrosive acid and died. Authorities are looking for answers, but have not ruled out the possibility that he may have had a medical emergency prior to the accident.
Witnesses to the industrial plant accident are stunned after having worked to release Swisher from the “tight space” where his body became wedged after falling into a four-foot-deep tank. The tank was filled with liquid chromic acid, a material that is used for metal plating and coatings. It is known to cause severe skin burns and eye damage on contact, and inhaling it can be fatal. Among the areas being investigated is whether any medical accident the man suffered may have been due to exposure to the extremely toxic material.
Industrial Plant Accident Leaves Co-Workers Distraught
According to witnesses, when the industrial plant accident occurred colleagues lept into action, pulling Mr. Swisher from the tank and immediately performing CPR until emergency medical personnel arrived. He was pronounced dead at the scene, with his death deemed an accidental drowning and Dayton Fire Department District Chief Mike Fasnacht expressing doubt as to its cause. “I don’t know that this was an industrial accident or medical emergency.” The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will continue its investigation, and HAZMAT teams were called in to secure and decontaminate the area.
Techmetals issued a statement after the industrial plant accident, saying, “Due to the nature and complexity of the industry, we invest and practice heavily in safety and environment standards. Once we get more answers, Techmetals will communicate what we learn. Until then, all we have is the opportunity to support one another during this emotional and somber time. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones.” The company previously received a citation in 2017 involving a worker who was hospitalized for a burn caused by splashing hot water during a tank transfer.