R. Jason Altman died helping to save Keith E. Gibson from suffocation, Georgetown, South Carolina, November 4, 2006. Gibson, 39, lost consciousness in the oxygen-deficient atmosphere of the chemical dryer that he was cleaning at the plant where he was employed. When those responding, including Altman, 27, operator, could not remove him through the opening in the top of the dryer, Altman entered the unit. He lifted Gibson toward the opening, where the others secured a hold on him and pulled him to safety. After focusing on Gibson, reviving him and readying him for emergency medical personnel, the other workers realized that Altman was unaccounted for, and they found him lying unconscious in the dryer. Two men equipped with air supply entered the dryer and lifted Altman toward the opening, where a third man, unprotected, extended his upper body through the opening to grasp him. The third man with others pulled Altman from the dryer. Both he and Gibson were taken to the hospital, where Gibson was detained a day for treatment. He recovered. Altman could not be revived. The third man also required hospitalization, for treatment of severe respiratory distress.
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