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Monday, August 24, 1998 Published at 11:45 GMT 12:45 UK


Worker dies in molten metal tragedy

A 52-year-old man has died after falling into a vat of molten zinc.

The BBC's Joe Campbell reports
Alan Wardour, of Higham, Kent, suffered 100% burns when he fell into the vat containing molten metal heated to 400C.

He had been on a gantry at a galvanising factory in Witham, Essex.

Despite his horrific injuries, the contracted maintenance worker managed to pull himself out of the liquid metal.

He died on Sunday evening after an eight-hour fight for life in the St Andrews burns unit at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford.

A police spokesman said: "Amazingly, he managed to climb out unaided but he had suffered terrible burns from the liquid metal.

Investigation launched

"He was completely submerged and suffered 100% burns."

Several staff at the factory were treated for shock.

Mr Wardour is believed to have fallen from a crane-type lift and through a metal 'hut' which stops splashes when iron is dipped into zinc to prevent it corroding.

The South East Galvanizing Company glavanises window frames and doors.

The Health and Safety Executive is now investigating the incident.

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