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Article updated: 7/11/2013 8:01 PM

Workers overcome by fumes in Long Grove


Two workers were rescued from a manhole containing dangerous gases Thursday afternoon at old Route 53 and Old McHenry Road in Long Grove.

The Long Grove Fire Protection District was dispatched to the scene at 12:11 p.m., according to a news release from Fire Chief Robert Turpel. Rescue personnel arrived to find two workers who were hired by a homeowner to rod his sewer were in a manhole overcome by fumes.

The release said one victim had apparently exited the manhole after completing some jet rodding and looked down into the hole, only to find the second victim having trouble. He re-entered the 12-foot-deep hole by ladder to assist his co-worker but was immediately overcome by fumes.

The homeowner was able to grab the arm of the worker descending the ladder, according to the release, and a Lake County sheriff's deputy helped hold the worker up until the fire department arrived.

The victim the man was trying to rescue was apparently trying to exit the manhole and was about halfway up the ladder when he fell to the bottom. He was rescued by a Long Grove fire rescue/hazmat technician wearing a breathing apparatus.

According to the news release, the level of hydrogen sulfide in the manhole had reached 120 parts per million; levels at or greater than 100 are considered dangerous.

Both workers were taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center.

Everyone exposed to the sewer gas underwent an initial decontamination. The sheriff's deputy and the homeowner also were evaluated by paramedics.

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