Wesley C. Ray attempted to save Marvin Kelley from suffocation, Austin, Texas, September 16, 1936. Kelley, 26, mechanic, was overcome by marsh-gas while climbing a ladder in a well and fell to a platform 30 feet below the top. He began weakly to climb the ladder, and Ray, 24, truck driver, who thought Kelley had slipped and fallen, started to descend to aid him. Ray descended until his head was 15 feet below the top; and noting close air, he thought there might be gas in the well. Descending two additional steps, Ray took hold of Kelley’s hand and pulled to aid him up the ladder; but Kelley was overcome, slipped from Ray’s hold, and fell to the platform. Breathing lightly, Ray descended to the platform, started to lift Kelley, and fell unconscious. Meanwhile Wallace W. Drake arrived at the well, descended to the platform, and tied a rope around Ray’s chest. As Ray was being hoisted, Drake fell unconscious. Ray’s body lodged against braces 15 feet below the top, and he was held suspended under the braces. Firemen later freed Ray’s body and drew him from the well. He was revived but was disabled for four days. A fireman, who wore a gas-mask and had a rope tied around him, descended to Kelley and was overcome. He was pulled from the well and was revived. Oxygen was pumped into the well, and Kelley and Drake were removed by means of ropes. Neither could be revived.
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