Louisville man killed in work-related accident

WINSTON COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- A man is dead after an apparent industrial accident in Louisville.

The incident happened at Winston Plywood and Veneer about 11 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Now, an investigation is underway.

Police say it’s still unclear what led to the accident.

But Winston Plywood employees and city leaders are offering their support.

Winston Plywood and Veneer looks quiet from the outside but inside the longstanding Winston County facility, a tragic work-related death has a community in shock.

“At approximately 11:21 a.m. Tuesday morning the 911 received a call from 1160 South Church Avenue at Winston Plywood and Veneer and that there was an industrial accident,” said Louisville Police Chief Sean Holdiness.

Sources tell WCBI that Brandon Foster was working on a wood chipping machine when the incident happened.

Investigators have not released an official cause or what machine Foster was working on.

Holdiness says it’s likely debris was a factor in the accident.

“At approximately 11:27 a.m. Fire and Patient Care arrived on scene and a couple of us police officers because we really didn’t know what we had to maintain the scene and give care to the individual,” said Holdiness.

Coroner Scott Gregory says Foster died at the scene of the accident, inside the plant.

Louisville Mayor Will Hill says it’s in times of tragedy the Winston County community comes together.

“As being the face and voice of Louisville to some degree we as a community must come together to be there to support those who lost. Whether it’s possessions or the most important thing lost of life. We want to be there for our industrial partners. Winston Plywood is such a community partner and their apart of our community in so many ways,” said Hill.

Atlas Holdings bought the plywood mill in 2014 and later rebuilt after a devastating tornado hit the facility that year. It officially reopened in 2017 and employed more than 300 people, at the time.

Mayor Hill says compassion will hold the town and the folks that work at Winston Plywood together.

“It’s a tough day anytime you’re dealing with tragedy, your friends and neighbors, some of which you may not know, this is what community is all about,” said Hill.

The plant is temporarily closed.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the apparent accident, along with local officials.

Coroner Gregory says an autopsy has been ordered for Foster.

Winston Plywood and Veneer released a statement late this afternoon, saying in part it is working with investigators, clergy, and crisis support personnel.

“Winston Plywood is devastated by the loss of our friend and colleague as a result of this accident. Our team at the mill is a family in every way, and our family has suffered a heart-wrenching loss today. We don’t have any words to express our profound grief, and we are praying with his family,” said CEO Bruce Warren.

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