Locomotive operator Thomas Dazey was killed in an accident at a steel plant in Arkansas, owned by American steelmaker Nucor.

The company, which describes itself as 'the safest, highest quality, lowest cost, most productive and most profitable' steel company in the world, immediately suspended mill operations and is working with local and state agencies to determine the cause of death.

Dazey suffered a fatal head injury when the locomotive he was riding derailed, leaving him caught between his train and another. The resulting head injury proved fatal, according to the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department.

It was revealed by officers from the Sheriff's Department that Dazey had been riding on the front of one train, but this is a permitted practice under Nucor policy, claims one local news report.

When the Mississippi County Coroner arrived on the scene, Dazey was pronounced dead. He had been a Nucor employee for 18 years and was 48 years old. His body was discovered by shift workers at 0415hrs last Tuesday morning.