Worker exposed to ammonia at fertilizer plant dies

POCATELLO, Idaho — A man who was working for a subcontractor at a Simplot fertilizer plant near Pocatello has died at a Utah hospital after being exposed to ammonia last weekend.

University of Utah Hospital officials say 23-year-old Derrick E. Martinez of Garden City, Kan., died Wednesday.

Martinez was found unconscious in a mobile testing trailer at the plant on Saturday.

Martinez was taken to a Pocatello hospital and then flow to the Utah hospital.

Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia in the air causes burning of the nose, throat and respiratory tract.

Martinez worked for a Simplot subcontractor, Blick’s Phosphate Conversion. Blick’s spokesman Kenny Kalb says the cause of the man’s exposure is still being investigated.

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