UPDATE: Victim in warehouse accident identified

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 8, 2007

NEWSOMS—A man is dead following an industrial accident Tuesday afternoon at a peanut warehousing operation on Route 671 north of Newsoms, according to the Southampton County Sheriff’s Department.

Detective Cpl. Richard Morris, a spokesman for the department, said the man was reported missing and possibly trapped inside a peanut warehouse building owned by Severn Peanut Co. at about 12:26 p.m. Tuesday.

Authorities on Wednesday identified the victim as Calvin Wilson Branch, 42, of Boykins.

Members of the Newsoms Fire Department, Boykins Rescue Squad and Franklin Fire and Rescue joined sheriff’s deputies at the scene to search for Branch.

A door near the top of the metal-sided storage building was open, leading rescuers to believe the man was trapped inside.

After cutting holes in the side of the building to allow the peanuts to drain out, Morris said, rescuers found Branch at about 2 p.m.

Nightingale air ambulance had been on hand for potential emergency transport, but the victim was declared dead at the scene.

He was transported by ground to the medical examiner’s office in Norfolk for an autopsy.

Morris said his department would conduct an investigation with the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.