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Bay Area worker dies after getting trapped inside 4-story hopper

Bay Area worker dies after getting trapped inside 4-story hopper thumbnail
Alameda County firefighters extracting a Newark worker trapped inside a commercial hopper in Newark on Dec. 27. 

Alameda County firefighters extracting a Newark worker trapped inside a commercial hopper in Newark on Dec. 27. 

Alameda County Fire Department

A worker in Newark died after getting trapped inside a 4-story-tall commercial hopper, Bay Area officials said. 

Alameda County firefighters responded to a report of a person stuck inside a hopper in Newark on Tuesday, the Alameda County Fire Department confirmed in a tweet. This particular hopper, a large, funnel-shaped receptacle used to store bulk material, was filled with gypsum powder, a material primarily used in construction work. 

It took firefighters approximately one hour to extract the person from the hopper; the individual succumbed to their injuries, a spokesperson for the Alameda County Fire Department told SFGATE. The spokesperson said on-site medical crews decided not to transport the person to a hospital once they were extracted, presumably because they were found deceased. The incident is being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. How the worker became trapped inside the hopper is unclear. 

The person’s identity has not been released.

On Dec 27, 2022, ACFD responded to a confined space rescue in the City of Newark with a report of a person entrapped inside a commercial hopper. It took FFs approximately 1 hour to extricate the patient from the 4-story high hopper that was filled with gypsum powder. Cont… pic.twitter.com/V600Ja7CVr

— Alameda County Fire (@AlamedaCoFire) December 29, 2022

According to another tweet from the Alameda County Fire Department, they received assistance from the Fremont Fire Department, Newark Police Department, Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and Hayward Fire Department. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1,030 workers died from occupational injuries involving a confined space from 2011-2018. Ten of those deaths occurred inside hoppers, frequently by being engulfed in the material contained inside. 

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