(Salt Lake City Fire Department) Crews work to rescue a worker who fell unconscious while trapped in a chemical transport tank.
The Salt Lake City Fire Department successfully rescued a worker who fell unconscious while servicing a chemical transport tank Tuesday.
Crews responded to a call at 4285 West and 1385 South in Salt Lake City about the man who was trapped inside a tank at Semi Service Inc. around 2 p.m., Capt. Anthony Burton, a spokesperson for SLCFD, said.
The worker was servicing the inside of a tractor-trailer that typically hauls methane gas when he became lightheaded because of low oxygen levels inside. When firefighters first arrived, they pumped oxygen into the tank to allow a heavy rescue team to safely enter.
“That’s a hard thing for any firefighter to do is stand back and not make entry,” Burton said. “Historically, these types of rescues have led to death for would-be rescuers.”
Crews used ropes and pulleys to lower a rescuer wearing an oxygen mask into the tank. The rescuer placed another oxygen mask on the worker at the bottom of the tank, who was lifted back out before 3 p.m.
The worker was taken to an area hospital, where his condition is being evaluated, Burton said. None of the first responders at the scene were injured during the rescue.
Burton said he did not know what kind of work the man was doing inside the tank. He said the tanks are typically purged with nitrogen gas after carrying methane to allow the trailers to be serviced. The cause of the worker falling unconscious is currently under investigation.
Burton thanked the crews for their efforts and commended the workers who called for help instead of entering the tank themselves.
“All of these people today stood back, understood the dangers of the environment, and did things methodically and patiently,” Burton said.
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