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Pa. man killed in accident at Purina Mills plant near Halfway

Aaron Ball died when he fell into a "feeder line" while cleaning a machine

April 13, 2011
  • The scene Wednesday evening at Purina on Hopewell Road near Halfway. The Washington County Sheriffs Office is investigating an industrial accident Wednesday that claimed the life of an employee.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

An industrial accident at the Purina Mills plant near Halfway claimed the life of a Pennsylvania man Wednesday afternoon, Washington County authorities said.

Aaron Ball, 25, died when he fell into a "feeder line" while cleaning a machine, Washington County Sheriff's Office investigator Arnold Cerezo said in a news release.

Ball is from the Mercersburg area, Cerezo said.

The accident at the plant at 11671 Hopewell Road was reported about 4:38 p.m. It is being investigated by the Washington County Sheriff's Office and Maryland Occupational Safety and Health, according to a 911 dispatcher and Cerezo.

As of 9 p.m., sheriff office and state officials were still investigating the scene for possible safety violations, the sheriff's office said.

The media were banned from the plant property by the sheriff's office after the incident, a rescuer on the scene said.

Behind the barricade at the plant entrance, trucks from the Volunteer Co. of Halfway and sheriff's office cruisers could be seen while rescuers make their way in and out of the plant.

There was no answer at the Purina Mills corporate office in St. Louis, Mo.

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