The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death of a worker who lost consciousness Thursday morning while cleaning a tank car in the Port of New Orleans rail yard in New Orleans East.
Dr. Jeffrey Rouse, the Orleans Parish coroner, identified the man who died in the accident as Armond Stack, 49.
Few details were immediately available about the incident, and Rouse has not determined the cause of Stack’s death. A New Orleans Fire Department spokesman said Thursday, however, that Stack and two other workers suffered oxygen deprivation due to lack of ventilation while cleaning the tank car.
One of the workers was able to escape, but the other two men were trapped inside until an NOFD hazardous materials team was able to remove them. One man regained consciousness after being given oxygen, but Stack died.
OSHA spokesperson Diana Petterson confirmed that the agency is investigating the death, as it does for most workplace fatalities in Louisiana.
Stack was employed by Dedicated Trailer Cleaning Services, a company that OSHA has repeatedly cited for hazardous working conditions, including the lack of rescue and retrieval devices at its Illinois locations.
Petterson said OSHA has six months by law to complete an investigation.
Rouse is separately investigating the cause and manner of Stack’s death. City Hall spokeswoman Sarah McLaughlin said law enforcement will become involved in the investigation only if asked to do so by Rouse’s office.
The Port of New Orleans has no records of previous incidents involving Dedicated TCS, which operates a six-acre site on behalf of port lessee Bulk Resources Inc., port spokesman Matt Gresham said.
Dedicated TCS President Jon Ruiter said in a statement Thursday that the company was “fully cooperating” with authorities in their investigation. He declined further comment.