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Authorities identify pharmaceutical employee who died from ethanol fumes

January 22, 2011 | 11:44 am

Officials have identified the employee of an Atwater Village pharmaceutical company who died while trying to help two colleagues who had been overcome by ethanol fumes.

Henry Astilla, 33, of Los Angeles, called 911 early Friday after noticing two Baxter Healthcare colleagues had collapsed while cleaning blood plasma from a tank, according to officials of the Los Angeles Fire Department and the coroner's office.

When firefighters and paramedics arrived at 4501 W. Colorado Blvd. about 4 a.m., officials said, they found Astilla without a pulse. He was transported to a local hospital, where he later died.  The other two men survived. Their names have not been released.

Officials said the workers had been inside the tank, using detergent to clean it of blood plasma, and they were overcome by ethanol, which was used as a separating agent for blood plasma.

Cal/OSHA plans to investigate the incident.


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-- Corina Knoll and Sam Quinones