Workplace Safety Officials Investigate Death of Employee Found in Chemical Tank

WHEELING, Ill. (AP) - Federal workplace safety officials are investigating the death of a man who fell into a storage tank that contained a chemical solvent in suburban Chicago.

Authorities say the accident happened Thursday in Wheeling.

Fire Chief Keith MacIsaac says the victim was part of a crew hired to clean the tank. He says emergency crews found the man face down in "chemical sludge" at the bottom of the tank when they arrived. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

MacIsaac says the chemical in the tank is used in paint thinners and other consumer products. And he says the victim wasn't wearing the protective gear typically used in such tanks.

MacIsaac says the investigation has been turned over to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

By:  Chicago Tribune | Tags:  workplace safety, safety wear, safety gear, safety equipment