DONALDSONVILLE — The employer of a contractor who died Dec. 4 while working on the expansion of the CF Industries plant in Ascension Parish has identified the worker as a married father of three from south Texas.
Officials with Sulzer Chemtech said Thursday they are continuing to investigate what led to the death of Teodoro Silva Jr., 30, of Mercedes, Texas. Mercedes is near McAllen, Texas, at the state’s southern tip.
“We are presently investigating this matter in unison with OSHA and are working quite vigorously to determine the cause of events which led to this most unfortunate accident,” the company statement says.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the federal government’s workplace safety regulator.
CF Industries, a nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing plant, has been undergoing a $2.1 billion expansion of its Donaldsonville-area complex in west Ascension Parish that will boost its capacity by 40 percent.
Silva, who was working inside a completed tower more than 100 feet tall at a new acid plant, was found unresponsive shortly before 1:15 p.m. at the bottom of the vessel Dec. 4, CF officials have said.
Silva was taken to Prevost Memorial Hospital in Donaldsonville, where he was pronounced dead.
The Sulzer statement Thursday and Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies have not yet said what led to Silva’s death. An autopsy has been conducted.
Silva was a mechanic with Sulzer Chemtech’s field service unit for nearly two years and was well-liked and admired by his co-workers, the Sulzer statement says.
“We offer our deepest sympathies to the family members of our lost colleague and friend,” the statement says. “Sulzer is committed to offering our full support and assistance to family members to assist them in their time of need.”
Sulzer Chemtech is a subdivision of a Swiss company that builds pumps and other chemical mixing equipment.