Worker’s death at Burnside terminal termed tragic accident

The Sunday morning death of a 52-year-old man at the Impala Burnside Terminal appears to be a “tragic industrial accident,” an official with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

The Sheriff’s Office and Impala are investigating the death of Nolan Cormier, a Plaucheville native who was residing in Geismar. Cormier was in a conveyer belt accident around 9 a.m. Sunday and later died at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Gonzales.

Tony Bacala, chief deputy with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, said detectives are still investigating the circumstances surrounding Cormier’s death, but he doesn’t expect any criminal charges to be filed.

“It’s still open with us. We’re cautiously awaiting some test results,” Bacala said. “It certainly has no appearance of anything other than a tragic industrial accident.”

All operations at the Impala Burnside Terminal have been suspended, a company spokeswoman said on Monday.

“I can confirm that the investigation is ongoing and terminal operations will remain suspended for the time being,” said Kim Phillips Cusimano, a spokeswoman for Impala.

No information was available as to how the accident happened, but Cusimano said in a statement on Sunday that it happened “near the conveyor belt area of the plant.”

Bacala and Cusimano said further information would be available as it develops. Bacala said he expects a report will be compiled after all of the facts have been collected.

Impala Warehousing LLC, a subsidiary of Trafigura Beheer BV, bought the Burnside Terminal from Ormet Corp. in June 2011 for $28 million and invested $100 million to make the terminal one of the nation’s largest coal and bulk cargo handlers.

The terminal was built in 1956 but closed in 2008 before Impala purchased it, according to a Web site for the Burnside Terminal.