Eighth work-related death in Idaho

Just before leaving work Saturday afternoon I checked KTVB’s site for the weather and was totally surprised to see this pop up:

Simplot employee dies of burn from molten sulfur.

The story itself was between 10-12 lines, but the last two sentences really caught my attention. (It’s also no longer available. )

He’s the eight person in Idaho to die of a work-related accident this year.

“Simplot and the Occupational Safety and Health administration are investigating, partly to determine why the sulfur caught fire.”

…..to determine why the sulfur caught fire.” I’m sure they just appreciate that AP writer’s sentence construction, because anyone with a cursory chemistry education could tell you why the sulfur caught fire. It’s what contributed to sparking the fire.

Mr. Frank Rowberry had been employed at the Pocatello’s J.R. Simplot fertilizer plant for some 35+ years; he was a maintenance worker. While performing his job on Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Rowberry – who was reported as working alone, was suddenly consumed in fire apparently when “working on a clogged pipe.” He suffered a 50% burn ratio and was airlifted to the University of Utah’s Burn Center after receiving initial medical treatment at Porteneuf Hospital in Pocatello.

As reported by News6: “Safety inspectors spent Wednesday on the scene investigating the accident. They are meeting today to discuss their findings. The immediate area where Rowberry was burned is closed off, but it is not affecting the plant’s day to day operations.” Although: “The Simplot Plant is flying their company flag at half-staff today in memory of Frank Rowberry.

According to “officials” Mr. Rowberry’s coworkers are coping, “grieving the loss of their friend and doing their best to do their jobs. ” Mr. Rowberry’s funeral was held on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 1st – at the LDS church.


Via News 8 Idaho Falls/Pocatello & NewsChannel 6 – Pocatello.

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