Redhook Brewery’s VP of Commercial Operations, Andy Thomas, has issued a follow-up statement regarding the exploding keg that killed an employee on Tuesday.
Twenty-six-year-old Ben Harris was pressurizing a keg as part of a cleaning process when it exploded, sending him to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Harris, a newlywed and expecting father later died from the injuries at nearby Portsmouth Regional Hospital.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is currently investigating the incident.
A memorial fund has been set up and donations to benefit Harris’ unborn child can be made to: The Alysha Miller Harris Baby Fund c/o TD Bank, 20 International Drive, Portsmouth, NH, 03801, (603) 430-3812.
Below is the official statement:
We are grateful for the outpouring of support that we’ve received from the community after Tuesday’s tragic accident in Portsmouth. Ben Harris had been a member of the Redhook family for more than seven years, first working at the Cataqua Pub and most recently as part of our brewing operations team. His wife, Alysha Miller, is expecting his child and is also part of the Redhook family as a server in our pub. Ben was a wonderful man, a dedicated member of our team and a friend to all who knew him. We are heartbroken by this tragedy and are grieving with the family.
We would like to thank the community and the media for respecting the family’s privacy as well as that of our employees as we mourn together. We would also like to thank our family of employees for their support in this process, as this is an extremely difficult time for all of us and our top priority is taking care of Ben’s family and our team.
There is an assessment underway to reveal exactly what happened Tuesday morning. Although the investigation is still in process, there are several facts that we can confirm:
- The accident was caused by an exploding plastic keg ;
- The keg was not owned or used by Redhook Brewery or any other CBA brewery;
- It is normal protocol for the brewery to receive kegs that aren’t ours from time to time;
- Ben was handling the keg at the time it exploded.
It is extremely important to us that we understand exactly what happened before we share additional information about this tragedy. There is an evaluation in progress and we can assure you that we will issue further information when the report is complete.
In the meantime, we ask for continued thoughts and prayers for Ben’s family, friends, and everyone touched by this accident.
The family asks that memorial contributions be made to: The Alysha Miller Harris Baby Fund c/o TD Bank, 20 International Drive, Portsmouth, NH, 03801, (603) 430-3812.