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Worker who died in Atwater Village industrial accident was trying to aid colleagues

January 21, 2011 |  7:30 am

58934058 One worker died Friday morning after trying to help two unconscious colleagues overcome by ethanol fumes as they cleaned blood plasma from a container at an Atwater Village pharmaceutical company.

The two others were in grave condition at a hospital, and the identity of the deceased worker at Baxter Healthcare, 4501 W. Colorado Blvd., was not released, pending notification of next of kin, said Los Angeles Fire Chief Jaime Moore.

Moore said firefighters and paramedics arriving on the scene shortly before 4 a.m. found two men collapsed inside the container and a third outside, also unconscious. They recognized the threat from the fumes and donned protective clothing and breathing apparatuses, then rushed in to remove the men from the container.

“Were it not for the actions they took when they got on scene, all three would be dead,” Moore said.

The workers were using detergent to clean the container of blood plasma. They were overcome by ethanol, which was used as a separating agent for blood plasma, Moore said.

The worker outside the container had called 911 and went in to help his unconscious colleagues from the container, but was himself overcome by the fumes, Moore said.

-- Sam Quinones

Photo: KTLA

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