Novelis death still under investigation; charges unlikely, police say

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, at right, speaks to Novelis employees during a 2019 visit. An electrical contractor was killed Friday but few details have emerged.

SCRIBA — Police say the recent death of an electrical contractor at Novelis is still under investigation but few details will emerge until a medical examiner’s report is processed.

The Oswego County Sheriff’s Office announced the fatal incident, which “appeared to be an accidental electrocution,” several hours after it occurred Friday at the Novelis Aluminum Mill in Scriba.

According to police, Peter Clark Jr., 54, of Tully, New York, was doing electrical work as an employee of Syracuse-based company Ridley Electric when he died, but investigators did not elaborate further as to the circumstances that led to Clark Jr.’s death.

The incident occurred at approximately 8:59 a.m. Friday, police said, and members of the sheriff’s office were assisted by Menter Ambulance and the Novelis Volunteer Fire Department. Clark Jr. was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators told The Palladium-Times Monday they did not anticipate any charges to be filed in connection with Clark Jr.’s death, but could not completely rule out that possibility until more information is received from the medical examiner’s office.

In response to an inquiry from The Palladium-Times, Novelis officials said they were "deeply saddened" by Clark's death.

"We extend our sincerest condolences to his family, friends and to the Ridley Electric Co. team," said a Novelis spokesperson. "Peter was a frequent visitor to our facility, and many of our employees knew him well and admired him at work and in the community."

Novelis officials said they were working in partnership with local authorities, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and Ridley Electric to conduct a "thorough investigation into the cause of this tragic accident" and "conducting a deeper evaluation into how we can prevent any future incidents."

Created in 2005 as a spin-off from Canadian aluminum company Alcan, Novelis is one of the area’s largest employers with more than 1,100 workers.

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