Contractor found dead in railroad tank car in New Mexico

May 14, 2020 GMT

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — A man from Marshall, Texas has died in a possible industrial accident while performing an inspection on a railroad tank car in southeastern New Mexico, company officials said.

Oil refining company Marathon Petroleum Corporation said in a statement that Cody B. Vernon, 49, was pronounced dead Tuesday by medical personnel at the Marathon Rio Hub Rail Terminal in Loving, the Carlsbad Current-Argus reported.

Eddy County deputies were advised that Vernon was inside a railroad tank car unconscious and not breathing around 9 a.m., authorities said.


Vernon was a contractor performing an inspection on the tank car, company spokesperson Jamal T. Kheiry said. A second contractor, who remained unnamed, called emergency responders.

Vernon’s body was sent to a medical investigator in Albuquerque for an autopsy, Capt. Matt Hutchinson said, adding that an investigation is underway.

The Occupational Health and Safety Bureau of the New Mexico Environment Department is also investigating.

“We don’t have many details at this point and an inspector is onsite gathering additional information,” department spokesperson Maddy Hayden said.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation is cooperating with state and local law enforcement investigations, Kheiry said.