Man Dies After Falling Into 2,600-Degree Molten Iron
An Illinois man who was recently hired has died after falling into molten iron during his first week on the job.
Steve Dierkes, 39, died on the job last week after falling into the vat at the Caterpillar Foundry in Mapleton.
According to TOO FAB, a co-worker said Dierkes was working near one of the large melters in the main area and the Peoria Sheriff’s Office has suspected no foul play during their investigation. The employee said Dierkes’ body didn’t fall all the way and he died “instantly.”
“He was taking a sample of iron for the met lab and apparently just tripped. He died instantly, but not all of him went in. Part of his body remained on the deck for the coroner to retrieve. It must have been ghastly for those folks that witnessed it and to wait for the coroner with half of their coworker lying on the floor.
The death occurred on one of the large melters in the main foundry melting area,” Ron said.
“I haven’t seen the melting area in years, let alone the melt deck itself, so I cannot report what conditions are like. Our melting area is physically connected but operationally independent. Word spread fast and people were gathering trying to find out what happened.”
He is survived by his wife Jessica and their three daughters, Rilie Myrl,12, Remie Jo,5, and Tamzlinn Jean,4. His obituary reads that he was known as a hard worker who had a “tender heart.”
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