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Man dies in water tank as co-workers try to free him from suction tube, WI cops say

Kansas City Star
A Wisconsin man is dead after getting trapped inside of a water tank, officials say.

The man, who has not been publicly identified, was cleaning out sediment inside the City of Blair water tank on the afternoon of March 23, the Trempealeau County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Deputies responded to a call for help at 5:18 p.m. for a man stuck inside the tank, the sheriff’s office said.

According to deputies, the worker entered the tank wearing scuba gear and a wetsuit. Despite complaining of “getting cold,” he continued clearing debris from the tank until he seemingly “entered into a hypothermic state and lost hand mobility and strength,” deputies said.

Two co-workers tried to get him out, but he became “tangled” up in a 90-foot suction tube, and they couldn’t pull him free, the sheriff’s office said.

“Once first responders and law enforcement arrived on the scene, the subject was approximately 6 ft under the surface of the water, motionless,” the sheriff’s office said.

Authorities were eventually able to lift the man out of the tank and attempt life-saving measures, but he couldn’t be resuscitated.

The death is under investigation, according to the sheriff’s office.

Blair has a population of about 1,300 people and is a roughly 220-mile drive northwest of Milwaukee.

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