Carl Bartholow, Jr., 43, welder, saved Henry McDonald, Jr., 45, cryogenics mechanic, from suffocation, Ellington Air Force Base, Texas, March 21, 1966. By means of a 14-inch manhole in the top, McDonald entered a gas storage tank which was 51 feet long and had an inside diameter of six feet. There was a dangerous deficiency of oxygen in the tank due to nitrogen having been fed into its insulation to remove moisture. McDonald was overcome and fell unconscious on a platform on the bottom beneath the manhole. A co-worker discovered McDonald and, thinking that he had fallen and struck his head, entered the tank. Feeling dizzy, the man immediately climbed out and called for help. Bartholow ran 150 feet to the tank and ascended to the manhole. The other man told him that some kind of gaseous condition existed within the tank and warned him not to enter. Holding his breath, Bartholow lowered himself through the manhole by stepping onto a cross brace three feet below the opening and thence onto the platform. He crouched inside the tank and took hold of McDonald, who was limp and heavier than he. With effort Bartholow lifted McDonald about a foot. The exertion forced him to breathe, and he became dizzy. He released McDonald, stepped onto the brace, and thrust his head upward through the manhole. He took in fresh air and climbed out. Descending to the ground, Bartholow ran to a welding rig nearby and turned on the oxygen. He took the oxygen line to the tank and lowered the end of it through the manhole to near McDonald’s face. McDonald soon revived enough to stand, and he was aided out of the tank. He recovered.
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