Apprentice Distiller Fatally Burned by Overpressurized Pot Still, Kentucky

Kentuck Case Report: 15KY019
Release Date: December 15, 2015


Friday, April 24, 2015, a 40-year-old distiller and a 27-year-old distiller apprentice (victim) were producing a batch of moonshine when the Revenoor 300 gallon pot still unexpectedly ruptured. The distiller said he heard a noise like a car backfiring and he and the victim were knocked to the ground covered in 200° Fahrenheit mash (mixture of grain and water used in distilling). The distillery owner heard a loud pop from his home, ran to the distillery and found both employees outside and injured. After turning off the propane, the owner brought both employees to his home where his wife called emergency fire and medical services. The two employees were conscious and airlifted to the nearest trauma burn center. The victim died 17 days later on May 11, 2015, from complications due to infection resulting from the burns.

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Page last reviewed: May 18, 2016