Worker In Sulfuric Acid Death Not Intoxicated
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Oct. 20, 2007 (BCN) -- A young worker who died in a vat of sulfuric acid at a Redwood City factory in September did not have any alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of his death, San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said today.
Early in the morning on Sept. 23, 18-year-old Fernando Jimenez Gonzalez, an employee of circuit board manufacturer Coastal Circuits, was found drowned in a vat containing a low-concentration sulfuric acid solution at the company's Redwood City factory at 1602 Tacoma Way, according to police.Police reported at the time that Gonzalez was likely overcome by chemical fumes while dipping circuit boards into the sulfuric acid, and fell forward into the vat and drowned. When he did not arrive home, Gonzalez's father, who also works for Coastal Circuits, went to the factory to check on him and found his body, police reported. Police were called at 1:44 a.m. Toxicology tests returned this week showed Gonzalez was not intoxicated when he died, and the coroner's office has ruled his death an accident and not homicide, Foucrault said. "At this point it doesn't appear that there was an untoward event," Foucrault stated. The San Mateo County District Attorney's Office and health and safety officials are still investigating the incident, but no charges have been filed. Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said today his office was waiting for the results of a California Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation before a decision is made on whether to file criminal charges. Cal/OSHA spokeswoman Kate Maguire added today that her agency's investigation is ongoing, and could take several more weeks before a decision is made on whether there were any health and safety violations at the factory. Maguire previously confirmed that Cal/OSHA records show no previous accidents at Coastal Circuits.
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