Man Dies After Falling Into Industrial Furnace at Battery Plant

The death was determined to be accidental, but OSHA has opened an investigation.

Last Saturday, a 30-year-old employee at the East Penn Manufacturing Company battery plant in Pennsylvania died after falling into a lead refining furnace. 

According to local authorities, John Evanoff fell into the refining kettle and died from thermal burns. Refining kettles can reach temperatures up to 650-degrees Celsius, 1,200-degrees fahrenheit.

The accident happened on third shift, around 11:30 pm, according to local reports. 

Emergency personnel responded to the call, but Evanoff was declared dead about an hour after the incident. 

According to the coroner, it took nearly 24 hours for the smelter to cool down enough for the body to be safely recovered on Sunday night. 

The death was determined to be accidental, but OSHA has opened an investigation.

Founded in 1946, East Penn Manufacturing is a family-owned business that produces lead-acid batteries. According to the company, it operates the largest, single-site lead battery manufacturing facility in the world with approximately 11,000 employees.

The facility spans some 520 acres in Berks County Pennsylvania. 

The company issued a statement on the "tragic and terrible loss," offering its "deepest condolences and sympathies" to Evanoff's family and friends

John Evanoff left behind his wife and a five-year-old son. The family organized a GoFundMe campaign to help the family during the tragic loss. 

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