Company Probes Whether Procedures Were Followed After Deaths

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — An eastern North Carolina industrial operation said it is investigating whether safety procedures were followed after an accident that killed two workers over the weekend.

Two Valley Proteins workers were found unresponsive Sunday afternoon at the Fayetteville plant and the building was evacuated, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said. Valley Proteins collects, renders and recycles fat and bone trimmings, meat waste and used cooking oil, according to the company’s website.

The company said in a statement Monday that one maintenance worker had worked there for 13 years and the other had been employed for less than one month, WTVD-TV reported. The "accident may have occurred by lack of following company safety procedures which both employees have been trained in,” the Winchester, Virginia-based company said.

The sheriff’s office said the workers’ names won’t be released at their families’ request.

The North Carolina Department of Labor is investigating to determine if any safety or health standards were violated.

U.S. Department of Labor documents show this was the third accident at the Fayetteville plant in the last decade. A worker died in 2016 after falling from a ladder and another workers’ face was burned in 2013, federal inspection data shows.