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OSHA investigating death of Chicago man at Niles laundry business

EcoDirect Laundry and Cleaners, 6973 N. Austin in Niles | Google

A laundry and cleaning shop in North suburban Niles is being investigated after the death of an employee Tuesday night.

A 42-year-old Chicago man died in an industrial accident after becoming trapped between a laundry conveyor belt and a dryer about 10:40 p.m. at EcoDirect Laundry and Cleaners, 6977 N. Austin, according to the Niles Police.

Pascual Gonzalez-Hernandez was found dead at the scene, according to police. Investigators believe he was trying to remove a towel that was hanging from the dryer in front of the conveyor belt when he became stuck about 10 p.m.

He was found by another employee when they noticed a washer and the dryer were not working, police said.

An investigation of Eco Direct Laundry and Cleaners was opened Wednesday morning by the The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The administration has up to six months to complete their investigation and issue citations or penalties if they find Eco Direct violated health or safety regulations, OSHA said in an email Wednesday.

An autopsy Wednesday found Gonzalez-Hernandez died of head injuries in an industrial accident, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. He lived in the Ravenswood neighborhood.