16-Year-Old Killed At Recycling Process Plant

Three workers at Community Recycle and Resource Recovery Inc. were rushed to a hospital after being overcome by toxic fumes and one of them has died.

Kern County Fire Department Public Information Officer Sean Collins said that about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, a call was received by the KCFD regarding two unconscious men in a cement drainage tunnel at the Community Recycling Center, in the 1200 block of North Wheeler Ridge, south of Lamont.

Crews said they found a man and a teen at the base of an eight-foot vertical shaft that linked to the drainage system.

Fire crews used air-monitoring equipment to verify the levels of toxicity and then established air flow to reduce the level of concentration, Collins said.

Crews used a ladder to gain access to the base of the shaft to reach the victims.

A rescuer wearing self-contained breathing apparatus was able to place both, separately, into a rescue harness. The two were then raised them to ground level, and CPR was started on both of them.

A third man who remained at the surface was also treated for inhalation of the fumes.

All three were taken to a local hospital.

The teen, 16-year-old Armando Ramirez was taken to Kern Medical Center where he died.

KC Environmental Health identified the gas as H2S, hydrogen sulfide.

There were no reported injuries to rescuers.

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