David James Sweeney helped in an attempt to save Dude Crawford and helped to save James C. Long from suffocation, Farrell, Pennsylvania, January 18, 1935. While helping to repair an unused blast furnace, Crawford, 44, at the bottom of the furnace was overcome by carbon monoxide. Long, 59, who had no idea that gas was present, crawled through an opening 22 inches in diameter, descended a ladder 10 feet to the bottom, dragged Crawford closer to the ladder, and then was overcome. Sweeney, 49, assistant rigger foreman, who realized there was gas in the furnace, had men hold the end of a rope that was attached to his safety belt. He took several deep breaths, crawled through the opening, and descended the ladder to the bottom. Stepping over Long, he placed a loop of a rope he was carrying on Crawford’s leg. He lifted Crawford’s head and shoulders and quickly wrapped the rope around Crawford and tied it. He then ascended the ladder and crawled out of the opening. Coydon R. Mitchell, who also had on a safety belt to which a rope was attached, then crawled through the opening, descended the ladder, and dragged Crawford to it. While men pulled the rope on Crawford, Mitchell aided by lifting and pushing Crawford. Crawford was pulled through the opening, his body closing the opening entirely for several seconds. Mitchell then crawled out. Sweeney again entered, and, after taking several breaths, Mitchell followed him. While Mitchell lifted Long’s head and shoulders, Sweeney put the rope on Long and tied it. He ascended the ladder and crawled out of the opening, having been in the furnace little more than a minute. He was slightly dizzy. Mitchell took a step or two from the ladder, took hold of the rope, and dragged Long to the ladder. In the meantime, without Mitchell’s knowledge a hose from a compressed-air line was attached to a small opening at the base of the furnace, and, as Mitchell got Long on the ladder, dust swirled in the furnace. Mitchell called to men to shut off the air, and the pressure was reduced. As men pulled Long up, Mitchell climbed the ladder, guiding Long. Long was pulled through the opening, and Mitchell crawled out. Sweeney inhaled oxygen from a tank and soon recovered. Crawford could not be revived. Long was revived.
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