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Man Dies After Accident At Kaiser’s Mead Plant Mechanic Was Working Under Front-End Loader When It Fell On Him, Causing Chest Injuries

A Spokane man died Monday night after being injured in an industrial accident at Kaiser Aluminum Corp.’s Mead smelter.

James Vandoren, a mobile equipment mechanic at the plant, died about 8 p.m. at Sacred Heart Medical Center. The 33-year-old suffered a heart attack caused by massive chest injuries, hospital officials said.

Monday afternoon, Vandoren was working underneath a Bobcat front-end loader at the plant when it fell across his back, according to Spokane County Fire District 9 Deputy Chief Bob Waldron.

Fire and extrication crews as well as paramedics arrived just after 3 p.m. at the plant, 211 E. Hawthorne Road.

Vandoren, who had worked at the plant since August 1996, already had been pulled out from under the machine and co-workers were performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him, Waldron said.

Vandoren was airlifted by MedStar to Sacred Heart.

Paramedics continued CPR en route to the hospital.

Kaiser officials said an investigation into the accident has begun.

Vandoren’s death is the first fatality at Kaiser’s Mead plant this year, said spokeswoman Susan Ashe.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo



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