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Industrial Engineer Dies After Fall In Laboratory Freezer

The employee died after falling about 15 feet inside a two-story freezer.

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An employee of a Salt Lake City medical laboratory has died after falling about 15 feet inside a two-story freezer, officials said Friday.

The man, whose name has not yet been released, fell Thursday while performing maintenance at the ARUP Laboratories facility at the University of Utah Research Park.

The man was conscious and sitting in a wheelchair when paramedics arrived at the facility, Salt Lake City fire spokesman Jasen Asay said. He had a back and ankle injury and possible hypothermia.

The man later died at a hospital. Asay did not have details about how his condition had changed or whether injuries or the cold might have led to his death.

Asay said the man had been in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before co-workers found him and carried him outside.

Dean Li, president and CEO of ARUP, said the worker was an industrial engineer who had been with the company about nine years.

He told the Deseret News that officials were still investigating why the worker fell.

Li said the cold room is used for medical research and testing.

Li did not immediately return a message Friday from The Associated Press seeking additional details.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate.

A message seeking details was not returned by the Utah Labor Commission, which enforces OSHA regulations in the state on behalf of the federal government.

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