Sunday, November 19, 2017 Elyria 33°


UPDATED: Authorities investigating death at Republic Steel


Update, 2:50 p.m.: LORAIN – Authorities are investigating the death of a Republic Steel employee who was killed in a late-morning accident Friday in the plant’s train yard.

The Lorain County Coroner’s Office dispatched personnel to the plant, but sources with the coroner’s office declined to say whether Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans went to the scene himself.

No other information was available from the coroner’s office as of mid-afternoon.

The man’s name and other details surrounding the fatal mishap were not yet available.

All production at the plant was stopped for the day and all workers were sent home, according to Dudukovich.

An official in the Toledo offices of the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration, which oversees the Lorain County area, said the agency had been notified by early afternoon of the steel mill worker’s death.

“We received notification there was a fatality there and we have begun our investigative process,” Chad Positano, an assistant area director for the Toledo OSHA office said.

Positano said he could not confirm any specifics surrounding the accident as the incident was now considered to be a formal investigation.

“We have up to six months to complete our investigation and determine whether any citations are warranted for safety violations,” Positano said.

Positano declined to speculate on the nature of any possible violations.

“If there are any violations of safety regulations, then we need to make sure they get corrected,” Positano said.

A statement issued about 2:20 p.m. by Republic Steel confirmed the death of “a longtime Republic Steel employee,” according to Paula Dudukovich, director of human resources for Republic Steel.

“This is shocking and tragic news for all of us but especially for the family, friends and colleagues of our employee,” Dudukovich said.

Company officials were in the process of contacting the man’s family.

Republic Steel began an investigation in conjunction with local authorities and the company’s risk management team to determine exactly what occurred, according to the statement, “to make sure something like this does not happen again.”

Republic Steel’s Employee Assistance Program was to be available at the plant to help workers with additional information.

The Lorain Fire Department sent three engines and an aerial tower truck to the plant, which is normal procedure for such calls, according to fire department personnel.

Once fire personnel learned an employee had died in the mishap, firefighters and other equipment were no longer needed and were returned to duty, according to fire department sources.

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Update, 1:05 p.m.: LifeCare Vice President Herb de la Porte has confirmed one person is dead after LifeCare was called to Republic Steel.

He had no information on whether the fatality was the result of illness or an accident.

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LORAIN -- The Lorain Fire Department personnel are on the scene of an apparent accident at the Republic-U.S. Steel complex on East 28th St., according to fire department person.

Personnel were dispatched to the Pearl Avenue gate of the mill at 11:45 a.m. on reports of some manner of injury accident that had occurred within the plant grounds.

The fire department dispatched three engines and an aerial tower truck to the plant, which is normal for such a circumstance, according to the fire department person.

LifeCare responded to the plant with an ambulance, according to the fire department.

Assistant Fire Chief Gary Burls was overseeing operations at the scene.

No other information was available as of 12:20 p.m.

It was not immediately known if the accident produced any fatalities.

The Lorain County Coroner’s office had not been notified.

Officials in the Toledo offices of the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration, which oversees the Lorain County area, had also not been notified of the incident, according to a spokesman.




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