Local News

Worker dies at Sampson pork plant

Posted February 20, 2012
Updated February 21, 2012

— A worker at a Smithfield Foods pork packing plant in Clinton died over the weekend after apparently being overcome by fumes, police said Monday.

Brandon Christopher Taylor, 26, of High House Road in Clinton, was found dead about 12:35 a.m. Saturday with his head in the opening of a waste tanker at the Smithfield Packing plant at 424 E. Railroad St., company spokesman Dennis Pittman said.

Clinton police said a preliminary investigation showed that Taylor was cleaning out the tanker, was overcome by fumes and went into cardiac arrest.

Pittman said Taylor's body has been sent for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Investigators will test the air quality around the tanker to determine if any breathing apparatus was required for the work Taylor was doing, said Delores Quesenberry, spokeswoman for the state Department of Labor, which is investigating the death. It usually takes three to four months for the department to determine whether and workplace safety violations occurred that result in fines, she said.

Taylor, who was hired in 2010, worked in the wastewater department at the plant, Pittman said.


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  • davido Feb 21, 2012

    Blessings to the family and friends of Brandon. He sounds like he was a wonderful person. Please be comforted in the days ahead by the fond memories of all he touched.

  • janetweeks5 Feb 21, 2012

    Yet another avoidable death among billions at the hands of Smithfield, this one a very young human. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones.

    For "Pseudonym," brands to avoid if someone were to boycott Smithfield Packing include the following:

    Farmland, Smithfield, Armour, Eckrich, John Morrell, Cook’s, Guraltney, Kretschmar, Curly’s, Carando, Margherita, and Healthy Ones

    Better yet, avoid pig products altogether as coming from a largely inhumane industry. For help, visit http://www.chooseveg.com/

  • awomnsptofview Feb 21, 2012

    Please please please pray for this family. My friend Patsy buried her grandson right before Christmas in a horrible accident in which her grandson was killed by a neighbor;s child with a gun. Now she is burying her son. NOTHING supersedes the horror or pain of this. .. If you are not a praying person, at least send good thoughts and hope for better days for this family.

  • Con Amor brings luv and laughter Feb 21, 2012

    My heart and prayers go out to the family. Very sad story.

  • 50yohippy Feb 21, 2012

    Seems obvious a " breathing apparatus was required for the work Taylor was doing." Sad.

  • SweetB Feb 21, 2012

    Bless his heart. Tragic for sure!

  • billfranrichardson Feb 21, 2012

    I am so saddened for this family. But, jkvannoy makes a good statement for oversight in these situations. People don't want the government to make regulations about the safety of jobs, but this just shows why regulations are needed. Cutting cost of that 2nd employee who could have helped to save Brandon is just one example of greed in corporate world.

  • alexbadger22 Feb 21, 2012

    Hog farming is a dangerous occupation, not only for individuals employed, but the proximinate community as well. When you fly over farms, there are purple cess pools. When people fall in there, they contract millions of fatal bacteria, and there is no hope.

    Thats why the Neuse and Trent were in the top-ten most polluted rivers in the country; though surrounded by rural areas.

  • redstarlean Feb 21, 2012

    Unionized plants would have had another person their as a safety measure,

  • alwp78 Feb 21, 2012

    This is so horrible. Brandon was the sweetest guy you could ever meet. I just cannot understand why such terrible things keep happening to such a wonderful family. I have known several of this family for years, including his sister, who was also a good friend of mine, who lost her son, Ethan in an accident not even three months ago.