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A forklift operator at Inteplast Group was found dead near the facility Friday morning, authorities said.

The employee, a man in his 50s, was found lying in a ditch near a building on the Inteplast property in Jackson County, Sheriff Andy Louderback said.

Someone found the man and called police about 6:50 a.m. Friday, Louderback said.

The man was working the night shift from 7:30 p.m. until 7:30 a.m.

It’s unclear how the man died.

“We feel that there may (have been) a health issue,” Louderback said.

Authorities think the man had taken a break outside near one of the smoking areas.

Cyndia Poulton, justice of the peace for Precinct 2 in Jackson County, ordered an autopsy.

Additional details about the man and the death were not available Friday evening. The Inteplast Group, a manufacturer of plastics, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

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