Irving A. Merrill, 47, labor foreman, died attempting to save V. Dominick Scianni, 38, laborer, and Obediah Abraham, 26, steamfitter, from suffocation, Utica, New York, May 8, 1931. While a pipe, which entered near the bottom of a sewer pit 14 feet deep, was being cleaned, Scianni descended a ladder in the pit and was overcome by fumes of hydrogen sulphide. Water in the pit was 14 inches deep. Abraham, who had no thought that Scianni had been overcome, descended the ladder and was overcome. Merrill ran to the pit and arrived out of breath. Holding the end of a rope and telling another man to remain at the top and pull up the men, he descended the ladder but was overcome and fell. Two other men entered the pit separately and rescued Abraham and Scianni. Another man, who had a rope tied to him, descended the ladder and tied a rope on Merrill, who was drawn out. Merrill had been in the pit at least 20 minutes, and he could not be revived.
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