State probes mill death

Published 10:27 am Wednesday, October 10, 2012

FRANKLIN—The state Department of Labor and Industry is investigating Friday’s death of a North Carolina man from an apparent industrial accident on the International Paper grounds in Franklin.

James “Jimmy” Denny, 38, of Roanoke Rapids died after the 12:55 p.m. incident allegedly involving a crane.

Denny was doing contract work for Tak Investments, the parent company of ST Tissue. In April, ST Tissue leased from IP a paper machine and a sheeting warehouse to recycle waste paper into tissue for napkins and towels.

Sahil Tak, vice president of ST Tissue, said Monday the company may issue a statement. He did not comment further.

Denny, a father of five, apparently got caught in a crane. He was taken to Southampton Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Jennifer Wester, director of cooperative programs with the Department of Labor and Industry in Richmond, said her agency has six months to complete its investigation and will be looking into whether or not occupational safety and health regulations were followed.

“We are investigating what happened, but as part of that we don’t comment on the investigation,” Wester said.

“I know our compliance officer was there on Friday, but I don’t have any information as to what type of injury it was,” she said.

“I think we have a name and cause of death.”

The Medical Examiner’s Office in Norfolk did not have a cause of death as of Tuesday.

“We might be waiting on stuff to come back on toxicology tests,” said District Administrator Glenn McBride.