A man in his twenties died this morning after being smothered in a vat of molten chocolate into which he had apparently fallen. He was pronounced dead at 11 a.m. after being pulled from the vat by a buddy. The accident occurred at Lyons and Company, a manufacturer of food products on spec for other companies, including C & C Cola. The vat is used to melt bulk chocolate prior to manufacturing finished products. Details of the accident are still sketchy and the man’s name has not yet been released.
Update, 6:45 p.m: The victim was identified by the Camden Country prosecutor’s office as 29-year-old Vincent Smith II of Camden, New Jersey. He was apparently leaning over the top of the eight-foot-deep vat and fell in. He was then knocked out by the paddles that stir the chocolate, and was immersed in the 120-degree brown goo for ten minutes before he could be extracted.
The plant was being subleased by Lyons and Company to Cocoa Services, Inc., a company whose only apparent activity is melting lump chocolate so it can be used by candy manufacturers.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 8, 2009