Local News

Worker dies at Sampson pork plant

Posted February 20, 2012 5:22 p.m. EST
Updated February 21, 2012 11:01 a.m. EST

— 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.