TSMC Arizona Construction Site Blast Kills Truck Driver

(Bloomberg) -- An explosion from a chemical truck at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s construction site in Arizona killed the driver, according to statements from a local construction union and the Phoenix Police Department.

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Cesar Anguiano-Guitron, 41, was transporting waste material from the project site and stopped to inspect the tank when he was made aware of a potential problem, according to a police report seen by Bloomberg News. Following an “uncontrolled pressure release,” he was hit by a blunt object and thrown 20 feet (6 meters) from the vehicle. The local fire department transported him to the hospital, where he died from his injuries. The police department is investigating the incident.

The Arizona State Building and Construction Trades Council, a coalition of unions with around 3,000 members working on the TSMC project, confirmed the death of the worker late Wednesday in a statement.

“The safety and well-being of construction workers are our top priorities, and we expect all regulatory agencies to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident,” the union said. “The goal should be to determine whether adequate safety measures were in place, the cause of the accident, and to implement any necessary measures to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.”

TSMC said in an emailed statement earlier that it was aware of an incident that occurred whereby a waste disposal truck driver was transported to a local hospital, and that there was no damage to its facilities. No TSMC employees or onsite construction workers have reported any related injuries, according to the company. A spokeswoman for TSMC did not respond to a further request for comment on the worker’s death.

TSMC, the main chipmaker to Nvidia Corp. and Apple Inc., is investing $65 billion to build three chip factories in Arizona as part of efforts to diversify from its home base. The project, which is set to win $11.6 billion in federal grants and loans from the 2022 Chips and Science Act, has a fraught history with organized labor in Phoenix, including a monthslong dispute over safety and management issues on the site.

Read More: Biden’s $100 Billion Chips Bet Ensnared in Arizona Union Fight

The company and unions reached a labor accord in December, establishing a new committee focused on workforce training programs and transparency around safety issues as they arise.

(Updates with additional information from police report.)

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