- Associated Press - Thursday, September 17, 2015

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - The Office of the Indiana State Chemist has cited and fined the pilot of a crop duster for dropping pesticide that landed on more than two dozen agricultural workers in western Indiana in July.

According to a report released Wednesday, the Bi-State Helicopters Inc. pilot was spraying fungicide on a field near Williamsport and some of the chemicals drifted onto a neighboring field where corn detasselers were working, The (Lafayette) Journal & Courier (https://on.jconline.com/1UYcNSH ) reported.

The mainly teenage detasselers were working in a Hubner Industries seed corn field. They were taken to a hospital to be decontaminated and treated after they were struck by the pesticide. No severe injuries were reported.

The state chemist’s office found pilot Ben Tresidder violated the Indiana Pesticide Use and Application Law and fined him $250. Tresidder told investigators he didn’t see the detasselers.

“Consideration was given to the fact there was potential for human harm,” compliance officer George Saxton wrote in the report. “Consideration was also given to the fact that Mr. Tresidder cooperated during the investigation; there was no previous history of similar nature and no restricted use pesticides were involved.”

Bi-State Helicopters owner William Rice also said the company didn’t know corn detasselers would be working in an adjacent field.

“Unfortunately this happens,” Rice said. “Nobody wants it to happen. Nobody likes it to happen, but unfortunately it does happen.”


Information from: Journal and Courier, https://www.jconline.com

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