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Man serious after falling in vat and varnish stripper

A Corydon man is in serious condition after falling in a vat of paint and varnish stripper last week.
Billy R. Whitman, 40, who works at Mastercraft Finishers in Corydon, was found by a co-worker about 8:40 Thursday morning after Whitman fell face down into the chemical, said Gary Kleeman, director of Emergency Medical Services at Harrison County Hospital.
The co-worker removed Whitman from the vat and called for help.
“He also had been using a five-gallon bucket to wash (Whitman) off with water,” Kleeman said.
Whitman was unable to communicate with emergency personnel, who had to establish an open airway for Whitman. Kleeman said they placed Whitman on a backboard and removed him from the building. They used a garden hose to wash off the paint and varnish stripper.
STATCARE air ambulance landed near Mastercraft and took Whitman to University of Louisville Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition Monday afternoon.
Kleeman said the co-worker was treated and released at HCH for chemical burns on his arms. A couple EMS employees and firefighters also experienced some burning on their arms and hands prior to washing off the chemical.

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