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Victoria man dies in industrial accident at Dow Seadrift plant

Aug. 15, 2011 at 3:15 a.m.


Investigators are reviewing what led to the death of a Victoria man in an on-site accident at Dow Chemical Seadrift Operations.

Arthur Gahagan, 54, was working to unplug a line stoppage when some kind of blow-out occurred, Calhoun County Sheriff B.B. Browning said.

The sheriff's office was called to the scene immediately, arriving just after 7 p.m. and determining the death was not foul play, the sheriff said.

Gahagan was working alone when the incident occurred, Browning said.

There was a loud bang, and his body was discovered when someone went to check on him.

He was killed instantly, Browning said.

Gahagan was a valued employee and a great friend to many people on-site, Brad Fedorchak, Seadrift's site leader, said in the news release.

"He leaves behind family and friends who will miss him terribly," Fedorchak said. "Our deepest sympathies and prayers go to his family and friends at this difficult time."

UCC Seadrift Operations, the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the incident.

Juan Rodriguez, the OSHA deputy regional director for public affairs, declined to comment because the investigation is ongoing.

Trish Ritthaler, spokeswoman with Dow Seadrift's operations, also said she couldn't comment because the investigation was ongoing.

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