Carbide Industries employee dies after 'workplace accident'

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Larry Miller woke up Thursday to a call he had been fearing.

"My son called me this morning and told me someone got killed," he explained.

The job Miller dedicated 40 years of his life to, and the place that employs his sons, became a scene first responders rushed to around 4:30 a.m. The call came in as an employee possibly electrocuted. 

"Well I mean it's a dangerous place to work. Calcium carbide is a furnace. Something could happen every day there," Miller said. 

CPR was performed on the employee. Paramedics rushed him to University Hospital, but it was too late.

"A lot of people in there were crying and upset," said Miller.

Carbide Industries makes liquids used in steel mills.  It's now at the center of an OSHA investigation, and it's not the first. 

"I was there when two people got killed there, and it's hard," Miller said.

He was talking about 2011. Two workers were killed after an explosion. Federal investigators later found Carbide Industries ignored warning signs and tolerated failure---including 26 work orders on the problem furnace that ultimately blew up. 

From 2011 to 2016 inspectors found 9 serious safety violations. The government fined the company nearly 100 thousand dollars.

Despite all of that, the Lake Dreamland Fire Chief says he doesn't worry about the plant.

"Carbide is continually working on the safety of the plant personnel and the people that are working with them. They've made great strides," Chief Fred George said. He continued, "This looks to me from the outside looking look in, without being an expert, like a tragic accident."

Miller doesn't see it that way. His focus, keeping his two sons, still working there, safe.

"I told my son this morning, I wish y'all would find another job," he said.

Carbide Industries released a short statement about what happened Thursday morning. The company said it was an accident, that it takes safety seriously, and that it wants privacy. 


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