A hardwood company worker’s jacket snagged Tuesday morning on a storage building’s automatic door as it rose, plucking the man from the ground and lifting him to his death, authorities in northern Minnesota said.
The 41-year-old man died at Bagley Hardwood Products in the Clearwater County community about 25 miles west of Bemidji, according to police.
The man, who lived in Fosston, was standing next to a door measuring roughly 40 feet wide and 20 feet high when it started going up, said Police Chief Larry Peterson.
The longtime employee’s jacket “became entangled” and lifted him about halfway up before the door stopped, Peterson added.
“He was bound in there pretty good,” Peterson said. “It appeared too late” to save the worker by the time emergency personnel arrived, the chief added. The man was declared dead at the scene.
Fire Department members “proceeded rapidly” to bring down the man, given that other employees had gathered, Peterson said.
Minnesota OSHA, the workplace safety agency, is assisting police in trying to determine how the fatality occurred.
In 2012, during its most recent routine inspection by OSHA, Bagley Hardwood Products was fined $1,025 for violations involving elevated railing and storage of flammables. Four years earlier, it was fined $280 for noise violations.