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updated: 12/14/2012 5:08 PM

Autopsy rules Chicago smokestack death an accident

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  • This July 2006 photo shows Nicholas Wieme at the Quarry Twin Theater in Pipestone, Minn. Wieme, a 23-year-old aspiring comedian, was attempting to take a photograph from atop the historic InterContinental Hotel in Chicago when he fell 22 feet down the building's smokestack and later died.

      This July 2006 photo shows Nicholas Wieme at the Quarry Twin Theater in Pipestone, Minn. Wieme, a 23-year-old aspiring comedian, was attempting to take a photograph from atop the historic InterContinental Hotel in Chicago when he fell 22 feet down the building's smokestack and later died.
    Pipestone County Star

 
Associated Press

Authorities say the death of a 23-year-old man who fell 22-feet down a Chicago skyscraper smokestack was an accident.

The Cook County medical examiner released autopsy results Friday for Nicholas Wieme, a native of Pipestone, Minn., who was living in Chicago. Wieme died from injuries suffered from a fall down a chimney. The aspiring comedian was attempting to take a photograph from atop the InterContinental Hotel when he fell down the Michigan Avenue building's smokestack. It took rescue crews four hours to pull Wieme from the smokestack.

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Wieme's girlfriend was on the roof with him and called 911 after he fell. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead early Thursday.

The fall happened in an area of the hotel that is closed to the public.

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