John Edwin Hanson died helping to save Anthony P. Bearth from suffocation, New Brighton, Minnesota, October 5, 1966. At a pumping station, Bearth, 70 descended a ladder into a basement-level sewage tank nine feet deep in which there was three feet of semiliquid sludge. Hanson, 32, maintenance man, lowered buckets, which were removed from the building as Bearth filled them with sludge. After about 25 minutes, Bearth lost consciousness and fell over into the sludge, but his attire kept his head from being submerged. As Hanson descended the ladder into the tank, another maintenance man arrived. Saying he would hold Bearth up, Hanson stepped into the sludge and moved to him. He dragged Bearth three feet to the wall, propped him against it, and held him so he would not topple into the sludge. Another maintenance man arrived. In a feeble voice, Hanson told them to get help. One man descended the ladder, but he immediately had trouble breathing and began to feel dizzy. The man told Hanson to get out of the tank quickly. Hanson mumbled a reply and then lost consciousness. He fell face down in the sludge. Becoming increasingly dizzy, the maintenance man ascended the ladder and had to be aided out of the tank by the other workman. Help was summoned. Firemen wearing masks removed Hanson and Bearth from the tank. They were taken to a hospital, where Hanson was pronounced dead. Bearth was revived. He recovered completely.
49151 – 531849151-5318