They Went in Manhole Alive, Were Carried Out Dead

Gas fumes suspected in deaths of 2 Pennsylvania sewage workers
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2019 9:51 AM CDT
They Went in Manhole Alive, Were Carried Out Dead
Community members gather near the intersection of Beech and Rively Ave in Alden, Pa., as rescue personal remove two workers who were found dead in a sewer manhole on Thursday.   (Tyger Williams/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

Two Pennsylvania sewage workers died at the bottom of a 30-foot manhole on Thursday, leaving a community heartbroken and authorities trying to figure out what happened. The male victims, both in their 20s, were conducting a dye test on the sewer system in Aldan when co-workers in a manhole a block away lost contact with the pair, reports NBC Philadelphia. Daniel Cleaver and Matthew DiSands were found unconscious by their co-workers just after 11am and were dead when fire rescue officials arrived, according to Aldan Police Chief Kenneth Coppola.

He said one of the victims was the son of a police officer in a separate Delaware County community. "The other victim we all know. We know the family," Coppola said, per ABC News. "We're going to do our best to recover and move forward," Aldan Mayor Carmen Maniaci added at a Thursday press conference, describing the situation as "very heartbreaking." Authorities suspect the employees of A to U Services in Glenolden suffered from a lack of oxygen or were overcome by gas fumes, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. Autopsies are scheduled. (More Pennsylvania stories.)

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