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Redhook Worker Killed by Exploding Keg Identified

Ben Harris, 26, was killed in a Tuesday morning accident.

The Redhook Ale Brewery worker when a keg exploded in his face has been identified as Ben Harris of Newington.

Portsmouth Regional Hospital spokeswoman Nancy Notis confirmed that Harris, 26, was the Redhook employee who died as a result of the accident that took place around 7 a.m.

Condolence messages about Ben's death and Redhook's loss from around New Hampshire, Harris's hometown of Beaver Falls, Pa., and from overseas from fellow craft beer breweries.

On his Facebook page, Harris noted that he was living in Newington and had worked at Redhook in the shipping and distribution department. He was a proud Pittsburgh Steelers fan and posted many photos of his favorite team.

According to Portsmouth Fire Capt. Mike Hogan, Harris was working in the shipping area of the brewery when the accident happened.

Hogan said Harris suffered very serious, life threatening injuries and that Portsmouth fire/rescue EMTs transported him to Portsmouth Regional Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Federal OSHA inspectors were investigating the accident on Tuesday, but it is uncertain when the results of their probe will be released.

"At this point, it is too early to estimate a completion date for the inspection," wrote Edmund Fitzgerald, a U.S. Department of Labor spokesperson, in an e-mail.

On Wednesday, the Redhook Ale Brewery Cataqua Pub remained closed, and no brewery tours were being held. Redhook employees who worked with Harris are still in shock over the sudden and tragic loss of Harris.

"It is a great, great loss for our family here," said Andrew Holliday, a chef at the brewery.

Steven Schmidt of Meantime Brewing Co. in Great Britain also extended his condolences to the Redhook family.

"Our thoughts and Prayers are with the Family & friends of Ben and Redhook. Please know that when the news crossed the pond to England all of Meantime Brewing Co. was saddened and sends their deepest condolences," he wrote on Redhook's Facebook page.

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