An Illinois man died instantly after he allegedly fell into a vat of molten iron in early June.
Half of 39-year-old Steven Dierkes’s body was found lying on the floor after he supposedly fell into a crucible containing the molten iron, which was roughly 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the New York Post. The incident took place at the Caterpillar foundry in Mapleton, the Peoria County coroner told the Peoria Journal Star.
No foul play is suspected in Dierke’s death, but it is still under investigation by the Sheriff’s office, coroner’s office and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the PJ Star reported. (RELATED: 72-Year-Old Woman Dies Hiking In Park That Authorities Closed Down Years Ago)
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“We are deeply saddened by the death of an employee who was involved in a serious incident at our Mapleton, Illinois, facility on June 2,” Caterpillar spokeswoman Lisa Millar said in an email to the outlet, “Our thoughts are with this employee’s family, friends and colleagues. The safety of our employees, contractors and visitors is our top priority.”
Dierkes reportedly fell just before 10 am, and an anonymous employee told the World Socialist Web Site, that Dierkes was “taking a sample of iron for the met lab and apparently just tripped.”
“He died instantly, but not all of him went in. Part of his body remained on the deck for the coroner to retrieve. It must have been ghastly for those folks that witnessed it and to wait for the coroner with half of their coworker lying on the floor,” the worker told the outlet.