07-03-2007, 02:23 PM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2002
- Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.
Methane (and Other Gases) Safety Reminder
Of why we as "Professionals" wear SCBA or other breathing apparatus while working in confined or poor atmosphere conditions.
Methane Gas Kills Family Of Four, Hired Worker
Sheriff Calls Death 'Tragic Event'
POSTED: 9:31 am EDT July 3, 2007
HARRISONBURG, Va. -- A farm accident killed four members of a Mennonite family and a hired hand at a dairy farm several miles west of Harrisonburg, Va., in Rockingham County authorities said.
Sheriff Don Farley told reporters a couple and their two young daughters and a farm worker died early Monday evening from methane gas emanating from a manure pit at their farm in the Briery Branch community.
Farley identified the victims as Scott Showalter, 33; his wife, Phyillis, 34; Shayla, 11; Christina, 9; and Amous Stoltzfus, 24, who worked at the Showalter's dairy farm.
Farley told the Daily News-Record that the deaths were "just a tragic, tragic event."
Emergency dispatch received a rescue call at 6:47 p.m. from the dairy farm. Local fire departments and rescue squads also responded, he said.
Following the end of the days work, Farley said, Scott Showalter apparently was transferring manure from one small pit to a larger one measuring 20 feet by 20 feet and 8 feet deep.
At some point, the pipe that was transferring the manure from the smaller pit to the larger became clogged, and Scott Showalter climbed inside to fix the blockage, Farley said.
When he went into the pit to clear the obstruction, he apparently was overcome by methane gas, which is one byproduct of the liquefied manure, Farley said.
Emergency workers speculate that Stoltzfus climbed into the pit in an attempt to rescue Showalter, according to Farley.
When the two men didnt come out, Phyillis Showalter and then the couples two daughters apparently made their way in, all succumbing to the deadly gas.
"It was a domino effect with one person going in, the second person going after them," Farley said.
He said the bodies of the victims were taken to the state medical examiner's office for autopsy.
Farley said this type of accident was rare on area dairy farms.
Apparently the gas couldn't go anywhere and turned deadly, he said.
"I've worked here my whole life and I cant remember a gas situation in a manure pit like this," Farley told reporters.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.
There was a similar incident a few years back in British Columbia where they lost an ambulance crew who did a response to someone who had been overcome by low 02 in a confined space. Kimberly, BC - I think - at an abandoned mine site.If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)
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07-03-2007, 02:42 PM #2
not trying to take away from the brutality of the article but... the same can happen in the bunkroom....
you get several of the smelly ones together with no ventilation.... your gonna need an SCBA otherwise you too will get overcome
07-03-2007, 04:10 PM #3
- Join Date
- May 2002
- Now in Victoria, BC. I'm from beautiful Jasper Alberta in the heart of the Can. Rockies - will always be an Albertan at heart!
Yeah it was Kimberley ... here's the link to the thread where we discussed it.
There is a thread in the EMS forum as well.
JHR you P.M.S.ing or something? You've been tossing out nasty little one liners for a few days now.September 11th - Never Forget
I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.
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07-03-2007, 07:13 PM #4
- Join Date
- Apr 2003
I don't know if the article intended it to sound as if the gas was poisonous or not, but obviously, they were asphyxiated due to low O2.
07-04-2007, 12:14 AM #5JHR you P.M.S.ing or something? You've been tossing out nasty little one liners for a few days now.
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