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South Carolina Lawsuit Alleges a “Salt Avalanche” Killed a Man Repairing Equipment

May 04, 2019

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA – According to an online article published by, a lawsuit alleges that a South Carolina workplace accident left one man dead after he was buried in an “avalanche” of salt cake.*

A South Carolina lawsuit alleges that in 2017, a worker repairing equipment at an industrial plant died after he was “buried in an avalanche of salt cake.”  The worker was repairing a 145-foot-tall boiler at a papermill in North Charleston when he was buried in toxic salt residue.  According to the lawsuit, two separate companies were responsible for cleaning out the residue from the boiler before allowing the deceased worker to handle repairs.

The deceased worker had been working with other crew members to clean the 13-story boiler.  Some of the workers allege to have “heard a loud rumble sound and then watched as a massive amount of salt cake fell from above” the now-deceased worker, completely covering him.  Another worker was buried up to his neck, but was rescued and survived the incident.

A rescue team at the paper mill was at the accident site within minutes.  However, despite their best efforts, with the help of city firefighters and county first responders, the worker died after suffocating.

The lawsuit alleges that the paper mill hired two companies to clean the boiler and that because these two companies did not perform their job of cleaning out the boiler, the two companies are responsible for the worker’s death.  Reports indicate that the paper mill has been cited and fined on several occasions in the past for having unsafe work conditions following inspections by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.