Worker rescued after falling into 20,000-pound tank of chocolate in New York

COMMACK, N.Y. (News 12/CNN) - A worker at a New York chocolate and candy factory jokes he’s never going to eat chocolate again after falling into a 20,000-pound tank of the sweet stuff and injuring his arm.

First responders received a call about an industrial mixer accident Tuesday afternoon at Simply Natural Foods, which makes Simply Lite chocolate bars and other candies, in Commack, N.Y.

"When we saw it come through, we saw ‘industrial mixer,’ and I think all of us did an eye scratch, kind of wondering what was happening,” said Commack Rescue Ambulance Chief Mike Hoddinott.

The EMTs arrived to find a 37-year-old employee lying on the ground, covered in chocolate.

"It looked a lot like regular chocolate, like liquid chocolate. If you would imagine melting down a chocolate bar, it was that consistency,” Hoddinott said.

Police say the employee fell into a 20,000-pound tank of chocolate while working.

"He had gone in to try to free something to operate the machine. It was in between mixing. Somehow the machine was still on, and he became entangled,” Hoddinott said.

The man’s co-workers pulled him out of the 8-foot-tall vat and called 911.

"First thing we had to do was get the chocolate off him to assess his condition. So, with the use of a garden hose, we washed the chocolate off of him,” said paramedic Tom Hughes.

First responders say they reassured the scared worker that he would get the appropriate treatment. But when the man started making jokes about the sticky situation, they knew he would be OK.

“He actually said he would never eat chocolate again,” Hughes said. “He was actually in very good spirits, considering the circumstances of his morning.”

The worker was taken to the hospital with an arm injury.

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