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A manufacturing worker cleaning a recycling belt at a Gastonia, NC, company died Thursday after an incident in the workplace, state officials said.

The incident occurred around 2 a.m. Thursday at Sika Automotive Gastonia at 1909 Kyle Court, located off Bessemer City Highway when the worker was cleaning a recycling belt, which carried waste material for re-use, when he got his right arm caught in and amputated by the conveyor.

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The worker was taken to a hospital by GEMS, but later died, according to state Department of Labor officials.

Sika Automotive released the following statement:

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“The entire Sika team is deeply saddened over the tragic loss of a valued colleague and friend. We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and have offered our support during this challenging time. While the cause of the incident is not yet known, we are investigating the matter carefully and will take all steps necessary to assure the continued safety of the Gastonia facility.”

The identity of the victim was not immediately available.

Sika Automotive, previously known as FAIST ChemTec Inc., manufactures automotive sound damping material.

The global company based in Switzerland, with U.S. headquarters in Michigan, employs about 150 people at its Gastonia plant, according to the Department of Labor.

The investigation into this workplace fatality could take up to six months to complete. Results of the investigation will not be known until the state Department of Labor closes the case or until penalties and citations are issued.

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