NEWARK, Calif (BCN) — A worker died in a hopper accident at a Newark gypsum plant and distribution center Tuesday, according to the Alameda County Fire Department, which tried to save the worker’s life that day.
Firefighters were told at about 3:45 p.m. Tuesday about a worker trapped in a four-story hopper at PABCO Gypsum at 37851 Cherry St.
Powder inside the hopper got hung up somehow and the worker went inside the hopper to assess the situation, Alameda County Fire Department Special Operations Division Chief Paige Bowie said.
A “very large quantity fell on him,” Bowie said, and he was trapped in the powder, which was a lot like quicksand.
Both co-workers and firefighters tried to pull him out unsuccessfully. Firefighters tried to rescue the man from above and below where he was.
Bowie said it was deemed unsafe for firefighters or workers to go where the victim was in the hopper.
Firefighters eventually cut a hole in the hopper with a Petrogen torch and pulled the man out, Bowie said. The man was pronounced dead.
The name of the man was Rodas Jerez, 25, of Burlingame, according to the Alameda County coroner’s bureau.
The chief financial officer for PABCO Gypsum did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the case.
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