John David Hanley, 21, surveyor, died attempting to save Kenneth T. Novitch, 32, engineering technician, from suffocation, Cleveland, Ohio, September 2,1965. In a storm sewer manhole 15 feet deep and six feet in diameter at the bottom, Novitch was overcome by hydrogen sulfide gas and lost consciousness. Hanley entered the manhole through its 30 inch opening at ground level, descended a ladder of iron rungs embedded in its side, and tried to obtain a hold on Novitch. While another surveyor held one end of a rope, Dale Alan Pirol took the other end and descended the ladder into the manhole. Pirol and Hanley both lost consciousness while trying to tie the rope around Novitch. They fell at opposite sides of the bottom of the manhole. Others arrived, including Samuel M. Subers, Jr. He saw the three men in the manhole and heard one of them moaning. Subers tied the rope around himself and put on a dust mask, which afforded no protection from gas. He descended the ladder and tried to obtain a hold on Pirol but inhaled gas and lost consciousness. The men pulled Subers out and began artificial respiration. Jarvis Evans removed the rope from Subers tied it around himself, put on another dust mask and descended into the manhole. The men held the rope at the middle and dropped the other end to Evans who tied it around Pirol. Beginning to feel dizzy, Evans clung to the ladder while the men pulled Pirol out. Evans climbed out unaided and lay on the ground gasping for air. Shortly afterward he re-entered the manhole. The men dropped the end of the rope as before, and Evans tied it around Novitch. Again feeling dizzy, Evans climbed out after the men had removed Novitch. As soon as he was able, Evans entered the manhole a third time. He immediately experienced dizziness and started back up the ladder but lost consciousness. The men pulled him out. Firemen arrived with gas masks and removed Hanley from the manhole. Oxygen was administered to the five men. Novitch, Hanley, and Pirol could not be revived. Subers and Evans responded and recovered.
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