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Wellsville worker falls into lime, burned

August 30, 2012
By JO ANN BOBBY-GILBERT - Staff Writer ( , Morning Journal News

WELLSVILLE - A man suffered burns on a majority of his body Wednesday afternoon at a local industrial site and was flown by helicopter to a Pittsburgh hospital.

Fire Chief William Smith said the man, whose name and age were not immediately known, was working at Wellsville Terminals when he fell into a pile of unslaked lime.

"It's highly reactive to moisture," Smith said of this particular type of lime.

He suggested the man could have been perspiring heavily from working in yesterday's warm weather and when he fell into the powdery substance, it reacted to the moisture on his skin.

Smith estimated he had first- and second-degree burns on about 70 percent of his body surface, with a few small areas showing more serious third-degree burns.

The fire department was first on the scene and found the man already showering.

Smith and a co-worker of the victim entered the shower and found him still wearing underwear and socks, which Smith advised him to remove so he could flood all of his skin with water to remove the substance while waiting for paramedics.

Lifeteam ambulance arrived on the scene while the fire department arranged for an Air Evac helicopter, which landed near the terminals.

The victim was flown to West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Smith said he spoke briefly to the man's co-worker but did not obtain much information on how the accident actually occurred, although he speculated that OSHA will have to be notified of the accident.



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