Tommy Earl Barnhill helped attempt to save R. Jason Altman from suffocation, Georgetown, South Carolina, November 4, 2006. Altman, 27, lost consciousness in the oxygen-deficient atmosphere of a chemical dryer at the plant where he was employed while helping to rescue a coworker from the dryer. Barnhill, 43, operator, had responded to that area of the plant on being alerted to the accident, and he and others went to the dryer when they learned that Altman was unaccounted for. Two men equipped with air supply entered the dryer through an opening in its top and lifted Altman as Barnhill, unprotected, extended his upper body through the opening to grasp him. With others he pulled Altman from the dryer. Altman and Barnhill were taken to the hospital, but Altman could not be revived. Barnhill was detained for treatment of severe respiratory distress.
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