Two roofers working on top of the New Jersey based Swepco Tube building, a metal tube manufacturing plant, ended up in the hospital in serious and critical conditions after one fell through the roof into a vat of acid, and his co-worker jumped into to save him.
Martin Davis, 44, an ironworker fell through the roof Monday morning into a tank filled with a 40 percent to 70 percent solution of nitric acid used in cleaning metal tubing. Davis was fully submerged. Rob Nuckols, 51, was right there when Davis fell in and jumped in after him. Nucklos managed to only get waist deep in the solution, he and three other workers outside the tank were able to pull Davis out to safety. Rescue workers cut off Davis’ clothes and sprayed him down with a solution designed to break down acid in an attempt to prevent it from burning him further. Davis suffered burns essentially 100% of his body, but is expected to survive. Nuckols suffered burns below his waist and was treated and released.
One of the co-workers explained Nuckols selfless actions, ““In our trade we stick together. It’s a serious business. You’ll die out there. You’ve got your family to feed and you have got to protect each other,” he said.
Ironically the roof was being replaced because it had been eaten away over years of exposure to the fumes from the acidic fumes and steam.
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- Worker Jumps Into Vat of Acid to Save Colleague (abcnews.go.com)
- N.J. Worker Jumps into Vat of Acid to Save Colleague (kstp.com)