AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. (WRBL) – An Auburn University graduate student died tragically this week after being electrocuted on a private fisheries farm off-campus in what appears to be a momentary lapse of safety protocols per a departmental email.
“The Auburn Family is greatly saddened by this student’s tragic, accidental death at a privately owned farm. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” said a spokesperson with Auburn University.
News 3 obtained an email sent to faculty and staff with AU’s School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences.
“It is my sad duty to announce that yesterday one of our graduate students, (name redacted), died in an accident while working in West Alabama with one of our cooperating farmers. His family in Columbia has been notified, please keep (student’s name) and his family in your thoughts,” wrote Professor and Director Joe Tomasso.
The email explains the student was electrocuted while preparing to repair an aerator, and says the farm owner was with the student at the time, immediately called 911, and rendered aid.
“We don’t have all of the details yet but it appears that a momentary lapse in safety protocols led to this tragic accident. This terrible event emphasizes that what we do can be dangerous. Our work is often in the form of long hours and often at night, we drive large trucks, long distances often pulling trailers and then long hours and boats we spend a lot of time night and day working around and in pools. Over the summer I will work with the faculty and directors of our facilities to review safety protocols and set up any refresher training we feel appropriate. In the meantime I ask that Pls hold meetings and faculty directors hold staff meetings to review basic safety protocols for their labs and facilities,” wrote Tomasso.
News 3 is working to see if any other outside agencies are working to investigate the electrocution death, and if any consequences will be levied.
We will keep you updated.