Richard A. Smith helped to save Michael P. Corrigan and helped attempt to save Reynold W. Elsberry from suffocation, Omaha, Nebraska, August 29, 1991.Corrigan, 26, and Elsberry, 52, lost consciousness inside the oxygen-deficient atmosphere of an underground vault while working on a water main. A member of a construction crew working within sight, Smith, 32, pipelayer, was alerted to the accident and went to the scene. After obtaining a garden hose from nearby, Smith entered the vault repeatedly in attempts to tie the hose around Corrigan and to supply air to the downed men. When others arrived at the scene with a breathing apparatus, Smith donned it and again entered the vault, where he secured a sling to Corrigan and guided him upward as those at ground level pulled him out of the vault. The sling was lowered back into the vault, and Smith secured it to Elsberry, who was removed in the same fashion, Smith following. Corrigan was hospitalized overnight, and he recovered, but Elsberry could not be revived.
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