N.J. Roofer Falls 40 Feet Into Acid Tank

By Gillian Mohney

May 7, 2012 5:01pm

A roof contractor took a dangerous tumble when he fell 40 feet into a vat of acid in Clifton, N.J., on Monday.

According to Clifton Fire Chief Vincent Colavitti, 44-year-old Martin Davis was working on the roof of the Swepco Tube company, when the roof gave way and he fell 40 feet into an acid tank.

The acid is used by the company to clean metals and was 40 to 70 percent strong when Davis fell in, according to the fire department.

After he fell, four of Davis’ co-workers quickly pulled him from the tank. One co-worker even waded into the acid to pull him out.

Although Davis was conscious when the EMS team arrives, witnesses told the fire department that Davis had been submerged for a minute. According to Colavitti, Davis appeared to be suffering from shock and his skin showed early signs of acid burns.

“Timing was [of the essence,]” Colavitti explained to ABCNews.com of the possible dangers of Davis’ acid burns. “It could be instantaneous or it can [delayed] depending on the concentration, burns can show up an hour or two hours later.”

Davis was airlifted to the Saint Barnabas Medical Center for treatment and is listed in critical condition.

His co-workers were treated for minor injuries at a local hospital.

Davis was working for the roofing company Gar Con Enterprises. According to the fire department, the roofing company was operating on the premises without a permit.

Gar Con Enterprises did not immediately return calls for comment.

Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were on the scene to investigate the incident.

The Swepco Tube company declined to comment on the incident.

 

 

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