Man dies as a result of accident at Western New York Concrete facility in Batavia
A man working at Western New York Concrete Corp. at 638 East Main St. died this afternoon after becoming stuck in a stone bin, Batavia Police Department Chief Shawn Heubusch reported.
"About 12:57 (p.m.), the Batavia Fire Department along with the city police department were dispatched to Western New York Concrete for a report of a male stuck in a stone bin," Heubusch said. "Upon arrival, ... the employees that were working were trying to extricate the gentleman from the stone bin. City fire made an extrication; unfortunately, the individual has passed. We're not going to be releasing the name at this point and time, pending notification of family members."
Batavia Fire Chief Dan Herberger explained that at the concrete operation, "several tons of stone dust, which is a very fine dust that is used for concrete production. It's a big hopper that's very wide at the top and narrow at the bottom."
Herberger said the stone bin, which is located in a blue building toward the back of the lot, is "an internal thing that has a belt that takes the stone dust up into where they need it to create concrete, and he fell into the hopper and was buried."
He said the cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner, who arrived on the scene shortly before 2 p.m.
The fire chief said when his crews arrived they initially assessed what type of equipment was in operation as to not endanger firefighters
"Just taking control of equipment and ... do some disassembling just to get him out," he said, adding that the victim was in the bin for about 30 minutes after the time of the call.
Herberger said this situation differed from grain bin incidents because the stone dust is much finer than grain and "is very heavy."
He said all city firefighters on duty responded to the scene while another platoon was called into to cover fire headquarters. Heubusch said several police officers were at the scene as well as detectives who will be taking statements and assisting the fire department in the investigation.
"Our thoughts go out to the families and the employees here at WNY Concrete," he said. "They did make an attempt at a rescue to save this gentlemen, so please keep them in your thoughts and prayers."
Police Chief Shawn Heubusch and Fire Chief Dan Herberger.
City Fire Lt. Dave Green
Photos by Jim Burns