Workplace accident: Middletown utility worker, 2 firefighters overcome by fumes

Workplace accident: Middletown utility worker, 2 firefighters overcome by fumes


05/07/2010 // West Palm Beach , Florida, USA // Nicole Howley // Nicole Howley

Middletown, OH—Mystery fumes are suspected to be the cause of death of a city utility worker who fell into a manhole in the 2500 block of Yankee Road. Two firefighters were also taken to the hospital after they too were overcome by the fumes while trying to rescue the worker on Friday, May 7, 2010, as reported by the Examiner.

Although details are still developing, it was reported that the city utility worker, Jabin Lakes, 32, was working near a manhole and was overcome by the fumes. Officials are not sure whether he was inside the manhole cover or standing above it, when he fell into the manhole and landed some 25-30 feet below. Two other utility workers immediately called for help.

The Middletown Police and Fire responded to the scene, where they dispatched two firefighters into the manhole to recover the worker. Upon doing so, the firefighters were also overcome by the fumes. The firefighters were identified as Bob Hess and Capt. Todd Wissemeier. The firefigthers were rushed by Careflight helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital for treatment. Their current conditions are unknown.

Officials are investigating the workplace fatality and what the fumes were. The exact cause of Lakes’ death is also being probed.

Several fire departments, including tactical rescue teams from Butler County and the Butler County Coroner’s Office also responded to the scene.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Ohio personal injury lawyers.

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