Michele Dufault, an astronomy and physics major at Yale, has been killed in a freak accident that occurred while she was using the university’s spinning lathe. Apparently her hair got caught in the machine and it pulled her in.

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A dangerous machine. This person survived because people around him turned off the machine. Was Dufault alone in the shop?

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The Yale Daily News has details.

From comments on the YDN story:

This young woman encouraged me not to give up on an astrophys course we took together, helped me as a bewildered freshman through problem sets, sent me emails to check up on how I liked this or that course, all because of her passion for what she studied and her generous nature.

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2 Responses to ““Her mind, her sense of curiosity, her perceptiveness, her sensitivity, and her enjoyment of what she did were extraordinary. She was a true intellectual.””

  1. dave.s. Says:

    This is not a freak accident. This is predictable, if you don’t have hair net type regulations, and you have long haired people in facilities with lathes.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Already in the comments at Yale Daily News, there’s talk of this — whether safety standards were rigorous enough, etc. One commenter does say: “She took two semesters of shop training and knew her way around the machines.”

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