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Man dies at chocolate factory

  • Story Highlights
  • Worker was dumping chocolate into the vat when he fell from a 9-foot high platform
  • The vat was churning a batch of chocolate when the accident occurred
  • Vincent Smith II suffered a fatal blow to the head from the vat's agitator
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(CNN) -- An employee at a New Jersey chocolate processing plant died Wednesday after falling into a vat of hot chocolate, according to a spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor's office.

Vincent Smith II, 29, was dumping raw chocolate into the vat for melting when he fell in from a nine-foot high platform. He suffered a fatal blow to the head from the vat's agitator, a paddle-like mechanism used for stirring the chocolate.

According to the Camden County prosecutor's office, three other people were on the platform at the time. One was able to shut the machinery off quickly, but it was too late to save Smith.

The facility, owned by Cocoa Services Inc., is managed and operated by by Lyons and Sons.

The rectangular vat, which was 8 feet deep, 14 feet long and 6 feet wide, was churning a batch of chocolate for Hershey's when the accident occurred, the prosecutor's office said.

CNN's Jesse Solomon contributed to this report.

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