UPDATE: OSHA opens investigation after chemical leak kills Richmond County deputy, injures several others

Richmond County Deputy dead, several injured in liquid nitrogen incident
Richmond County Deputy dead, several injured in liquid nitrogen incident

UPDATE: 1:22pm – February, 6th

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – NewsChannel 6 has learned that a representative with OSHA is now on the scene of Xytex.

NewsChannel 6 has reached out to a representative for OSHA and they confirm that there is an open investigation.

We will continue to keep you updated on this developing story.


UPDATE: 5:55am -February 6

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The following Richmond County deputies have been treated and released from Augusta University Medical Center: Tiffany Justice, Chris Hill and Michael Woodard.

No word on the name or condition of the Xytex employee but NewsChannel 6 can confirm she was taken to Doctors Hospital.greg-meagher-photo

Each went into to the building according to police – and when they came out they said they had trouble breathing and were taken to Augusta University Medical Center where they were treated and released.


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Sgt. Greg Meagher of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is dead after he responded to an alarm activation at Xytex Corporation, a sperm bank, on Emmett St. in Augusta.

Upon arrival around 3:30 p.m., Sgt. Meagher died after inhaling an “unknown chemical substance,” according Sgt. Shane McDaniel at the the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Richmond County Deputy Sheriff Greg Meagher was just awarded for 30 years of service.
Richmond County Deputy Sheriff Greg Meagher was just awarded for 30 years of service.

 

The Augusta Fire Department and a HazMat team arrived at Xytex arund 4 p.m. after someone reported an nitrogen leak, according to Augusta EMA. They found an unresponsive Richmond County Deputy inside and a female Xytex employee in a side location of the structure. They pulled them both out and sent them to the hospital.

In total, four deputies and one employee were transported to the hospital, officials say.  One of those deputies was Sgt. Meagher.

HazMat team members were able to shut off liquid nitrogen tanks at the scene, according to a press release from Augusta-Richmond County EMA. No firefighters were injured.

Recently Sheriff Richard Roundtree gave Sgt. Meagher an award for his more than 30 years of service with the sheriff’s office.

In June of  2004 Sgt. Meagher was shot in the head by a suspect during a drug raid and nearly lost his life.

He recovered from that injury and returned to his duties with the sheriff’s office.

 

 

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