One Man Dies, Another Recovers After Being Overcome in Cistern

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A 33-year-old St. Thomas man died and a 42-year-old St. John man recovered after they were overcome by fumes in a cistern at a home in Fish Bay.

The worker who died was the first one to go into the cistern, according to witnesses. The man who survived had recovered consciousness after being overcome and was able to get out of the cistern while rescue workers donned breathing aparatus to bring the second victim out.

St. John Rescue personnel on the scene worked to restore the breathing of the second victim.

The unidentified man was brought to the Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center emergency room at 10:30 a.m. and transferred to Roy L. Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas by St. John EMS at 12:50 p.m. while on a respirator, according to RLS spokesperson Sam Topp.

The man expired at 3:42 a.m. at the hospital, according to Topp. It has not been determined whether the men were overcome by fumes or lack of oxygen, the RLS spokesman added.

The St. John man was treated at MKSCHC and released, according to Topp.

No further information was available.