Ingalls Shipbuilding tank tester dies following work-related incident
PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - A tank tester at Ingalls Shipbuilding has died from his injuries following a work-related incident.
Randy Wade, a tank tester at Ingalls Shipbuilding, was critically injured Wednesday morning in an accident aboard a ship under construction.
An Ingalls spokesperson confirmed a tank tester was injured while working on the USS Fort Lauderdale LPD 28 under construction.
Robin Wade said her husband suffered severe brain trauma and multiple facial fractures when he opened a pressurized tank. She told WLOX News Now her husband’s chances of recovering were virtually zero when he arrived at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. A day later his prognosis slightly improved.
Randy Wade underwent surgery to relieve the swelling on his brain and will be placed into a medically induced coma for seven days, according to his wife. Robin said she found strength in the hundreds of messages on social media and the family and friends at the hospital.
“We are trying to hang in there and hang on to any glimmer of hope, but not false hope,” Wade said.
Randy worked at Ingalls for 25 years and his wife said he was planning to retire on Nov. 24. She also said that the accident happened on their ninth anniversary.
An Ingalls spokesperson said out of respect for the family he could not elaborate on what kind of work was taking place at the time of the accident.
In a statement to WLOX News Now, a spokesperson said “Ingalls Shipbuilding emergency services responded immediately to address the employee’s injury and coordinated transportation to a local hospital. Ingalls is working to support the family of our employee during this time of need and taking the appropriate steps to better understand what happened, and to prevent an incident like this in the future.”
According to the Facebook page for the USS Fort Lauderdale LPD 28, the vessel underwent its first sea trials last week.
The ship was docked pier-side at the shipyard when the accident occurred. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the accident.
Funeral arrangements for Randy Wade are set for Saturday, Nov. 6 at Mosaic Church (2016 Bienville Blvd) in Ocean Springs. Visitation will start at 10 a.m. with a service to follow at 11 a.m. A graveside service will then take place at a family cemetery on Jim Ramsey Road. (The cemetery is just west of the intersection of Jordan Road and Jim Ramsey Road.)
The family requested that anyone coming to the funeral or visitation not wear all black, because Randy wouldn’t have wanted loved ones to mourn the loss of his life.
“We are celebrating his life so please dress as if you were coming to our house for one of our big BBQ shindigs,” the family wrote. “After the graveside service we will be gathering at our home to honor him, laugh about him, cry about him and just celebrate him. He was truly one of a kind and will be missed dearly.”
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