March 31, 2012

Plant worker died of heart attack

Rachel Brown
rachelbrown@daltoncitizen.com

DALTON — A textile plant worker who died Wednesday while cleaning a tank of latex apparently died of a heart attack, officials said.

Whitfield County Coroner Bobbie Dixon said 51-year-old Pascual Apodaca of Dalton died of coronary artery atherosclerotic disease while working at Global Textile Services at 120 Keen Drive. Global Textile manager Tom Peeples said Apodaca had clocked out and was working for a contractor cleaning a tank of latex when he suddenly collapsed.

“The cause of death was natural,” Dixon said.

She said the report comes from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab.

Dalton Fire Department Battalion Chief Todd Pangle said rescue workers’ monitoring equipment shows any carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, oxygen and explosive gases were all “in safe operating levels” while department personnel were there, he said.

Peeples said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was brought in to investigate the incident. He said he learned the cause of death and received a report on the air monitoring from the fire department on Friday.

Apodaca was wearing a copper respirator as required while he was cleaning, Peeples said. He said Apodaca had worked at Global Textile about 20 years.

“We regret the passing of such a fine husband, father and long-time employee of Global Textile Services,” Peeples said. “All our hearts at Global Textile go out to his friends and family.”