August 18, 2014 10:11:51 AM
The Thursday morning death of a Brooksville man at a local chemical plant has been ruled a drowning.
George Rice, 56, of Fairview Road in Brooksville, drowned after the dredge he was operating listed and overturned, according to Monroe County Coroner Alan Gurley.
An autopsy was conducted on Rice Friday in Jackson.
Rice was operating the dredge alone at Tronox chemical plant in Hamilton when the incident occurred. He was wearing a life vest, according to a press release issued by the company.
Rice was reported missing around 6:45 a.m., according to Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell. The dive team from Columbus Fire and Rescue located Rice's body at 8:57 a.m. Rice was discovered in the middle of the pond, next to the machine, Gurley said.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration is on scene investigating the incident, Gurley said.
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.