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Man dies in workplace accident at Caterpillar’s Mapleton facility

An ambulance with its lights on. The text "WCBU Police and Fire" is laid on top of that photo.

A 39-year-old Peoria man died late Thursday morning after an industrial accident at the Caterpillar plant in Mapleton.

Peoria County coroner Jamie Harwood said Steven Dierkes was apparently working near a crucible, accidentally fell inside and died instantly.

Harwood said the incident is under investigation by the Peoria County Sheriff's office and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, but no foul play is suspected.

In an emailed statement, Caterpillar spokeswoman Lisa Miller said the company is “deeply saddened” by the man’s death.

“Our thoughts are with this employee’s family, friends and colleagues. The safety of our employees, contractors and visitors is our top priority,” the statement read.

Capt. Chris Watkins with the sheriff's office said they responded to the plant shortly before 10 a.m.

Contact Joe at jdeacon@ilstu.edu.