Worker dies after fall at Northern California sugar plant. Here’s challenge rescuers faced

One person is dead after falling about 80 feet into machinery at Holly Sugar Plant in Tracy, about 70 miles from Sacramento.

According to South San Joaquin County Fire, the department responded to a report at 10:20 a.m. Saturday that a worker had fallen into a large silo. Officials found the person at the bottom of the machinery.

“Utilizing technical rescue rope systems, South County Fire personnel were able to lower a firefighter into the silo to extricate the victim,” the department said. It took 16 people and about one hour to take the person out.

“This was an extremely challenging operation that our crews handled safely with the required precision needed for this type of incident,” South County Fire Chief Randall Bradley said in the post.

Holly Sugar is considered “the most visible landmark across the flatlands of western San Joaquin County — a cluster of tall, white silos bearing the Holly Sugar brand,” according to the city of Tracy’s website. After years of refining sugar, the facility was used for packing and shipping sugar until it closed in 2009.

The cause is still under investigation.