Officials are investigating what caused a man death’s after he fell into a chemical vat at Techmetals on Springfield Street in Dayton Tuesday morning.
Dana Swisher, 60, of Union, Ohio, was identified as the man who died at the business by Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger. The cause and manner of Swisher’s death has not yet been determined and remains under investigation.
Swisher was a senior employee and worked for the company for several years, said Dayton Fire Department District Chief Mike Fasnacht.
“We don’t know what the cause of the event was,” he said. “I don’t know that this was an industrial accident or medical emergency.”
The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office and Dayton police are leading the investigative side of the incident. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also investigating and working to determine if there were any problems with the facility.
Crews were initially called out to the business just before 9 a.m. for an industrial accident, but it was later upgraded to a hazmat incident.
A 911 caller reported that a man had fallen into a 4-foot deep tank, according to dispatch records. Fire officials later confirmed the tank contained liquid chromic acid.
Workers were able to pull the man out of the vat and were attempting life-saving measures when crews arrived on the scene.
Hazmat teams decontaminated employees who pulled the man from the vat due to the toxic chemicals involved in the incident, Fasnacht said.
He said the employees were informed of the hazards of coming in contact with the chemical and advised to go to the hospital, but all refused treatment.
Fasnacht added that the workers were “obviously distraught.”
“Some of his coworkers pulled from the situation that he was in and were working on him,” he said. “That would be traumatic to anyone in any line of work.”
The company is calling in assistance for employees.
Fire crews have previously responded to Techmetals for incidents like fire alarms and medical emergencies, but Fasnacht couldn’t recall any prior hazmat calls at the company.
Techmetals works with chemicals that are used for metal plating and coating for different industries.
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