Investigation continues in fatal plant accident

A Feb. 2 accident that claimed the life of a wood yard employee at International Paper remains under investigation by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

Bill Drake, 66, was struck by the metal cage of the crane while attempting to clear wood debris along train tracks. He had been an employee at the paper mill on Mike Padgett Highway for 43 years.

OSHA, an arm of the U.S. Labor Department that focuses on workplace safety and related issues, opened an inquiry into the incident to determine whether any safety rules were violated. Such investigations, by law, must be completed within six months, after which the results become public.

OSHA spokesman Mike Wald of the agency's Region 4 office in Atlanta said that the investigation remains incomplete.

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