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Fort Dodge man dies in pork plant accident

EAGLE GROVE — A Fort Dodge man died in an accident at the Prestage Foods of Iowa pork plant near Eagle Grove early Friday,

Jeffrey Leonardi, 57, was killed, according to a statement from Jere Null, chief executive officer of the company. He said the accident occurred on the third shift while Leonardi was performing routine maintenance duties.

”We are deeply saddened by the death of one of our team members early this morning at our Eagle Grove facility,” he said in the statement issued Friday afternoon.

He said Leonardi was a mechanic who had been with the company since the plant opened in March 2019.

Null’s statement did not explain what happened.

The incident is under investigation by the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Officials at that agency did not return a call seeking comment.

Null said the company is offering Iowa OSHA its full cooperation, and is also conducting an internal investigation.

Leonardi is the second employee to die at the plant this year. On Feb. 16, Wayne Smith, 50, of Fort Dodge, was found dead in an employee locker room. Investigators said his throat had been cut.

Lukouxs Brown, 26, of Fort Dodge, was charged with first degree murder in connection with Smith’s death.

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