Two Die in Greek Olive Oil Factory Storage Tank

The owner of an olive oil factory in Almyro, Greece and one of his workers have reportedly died after the employee fell in an empty oil storage container and the owner and his sons tried to rescue him.

Sep. 14, 2016
By Olive Oil Times Staff

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The owner of an olive oil fac­tory in Almyro, Greece and one of his work­ers have died after the employee fell in an empty oil stor­age con­tainer and the owner and his sons tried to res­cue him, accord­ing to an Associated Press report.

The report cited police who said the 55-year-old employee was clean­ing the tank yes­ter­day when fumes from the residue of the oil” that had been stored in the con­tainer caused him to pass out and fall in.

According to olive oil con­sul­tant Paul Vossen, how­ever, it prob­a­bly was­n’t residue from olive oil that was to blame, but a lack of oxy­gen. The cul­prit is a well-known haz­ard with stor­age tanks: even if they’re open on the top, a lack of oxy­gen can cause a vic­tim to suf­fo­cate, he said. Olive oil would not give off toxic fumes of any kind.

Air would not go in unless there was also an open­ing at the bot­tom to get air flow,” Vossen warned. This is a com­mon prob­lem for stor­age tanks. Most places have spe­cific pro­to­cols for enter­ing tanks and oxy­gen tanks avail­able for res­cue. The report from Greece said the res­cuer found oxy­gen, prob­a­bly from a com­pressed oxy­gen tank avail­able nearby for safety and res­cue.”

The fac­tory owner (60) whose name has not been released, and his sons, ages 29 and 32, all climbed in to help the man. They also lost con­scious­ness.

A fifth man who found an oxy­gen tank res­cued the sons, but the owner and one of the work­ers died.

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