Worker Killed in MI Pallet Plant Blast

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 @ 06:08 PM gHale

A 45-year-old man died in a workplace explosion at a pallet plant last Tuesday in Kalamazoo, MI.

The incident occurred at 2:30 p.m. at the Holland Pallet Repair on factory street in Kalmazoo.

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The sound of an explosion rocked the neighborhood by the Holland Pallet Repair facility this afternoon.

“It was a big boom, they said it was ear shattering, like ‘boom,’” said Richard Motycka, who owns AAA Performance, a neighboring business. “It was all over when the explosion happened. I don’t think he knew what hit him.”

Police and medics arrived to find a Holland Pallet maintenance worker unresponsive. They were unable to revive the 45-year-old man, who died on the scene.

A company employee said the victim was trying to re-fill a tire on a front loader, when it exploded.

At this point, it’s unclear how the explosion occurred, or what led to the death.

Gary Kingsbury, a former Holland Pallet employee, used to work on the front loader involved in the incident.

“They’ve had it years. I’ve helped change them before. I air them up and everything,” Kingsbury said.

Motycka said the worker just started working at the pallet plant.

“(The victim) just started working here 2-3 weeks ago. He did general maintenance, and whatever the boss needed him to do,” Motycka said.

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