A foundry worker was killed Thursday when he fell into an industrial pit and was covered in molten steel, authorities said.
Gordon Hickman, 41, was operating a massive ladle near the rim of the 35-foot pit just before noon when he fell into it, moments before the 2,600-degree steel was poured in, said Battalion Chief John Whitlatch of the Canton Fire Department.
A second employee at United Foundries Inc. suffered first- and second-degree burns over 20 percent of his body when went into the pit to try to save Hickman, Whitlatch said. The unidentified worker escaped the roughly 15-by-20-foot pit just as the steel was being poured.
It wasn't clear whether Hickman, of Homeworth, was killed by the fall or survived until the steel was poured. Whitlatch said the pour could not have been stopped in time.
Officials will have to wait several days until the steel cools to retrieve Hickman's remains.
The foundry produces large iron rollers used by steel mills. The company also has plants in Youngstown and South Africa.
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