The Delaware County coroner says 40-year-old Eric Dalton of Anderson died from the Wednesday accident at a home east of Muncie. Liberty Township Fire Chief Brent Devine says Dalton was working in the 10-foot-deep pit when he passed out because of fumes from muriatic acid, which is used to clean pipes.
A 19-year-old man who was working with Dalton entered the well to help him, as did two township firefighters who went inside wearing street clothes when they arrived.
The plumber's assistant and one of the firefighters were in critical condition Thursday, while the other firefighter was in stable condition.
What we should have had here was three individuals waiting at a scene for the arrival of the proper equipment to conduct what was likely a body recovery already. The plumber and his assistant should have had confined space training in order to have been doing the job they were doing at least in our area. Regardless the two firefighters should have received training that dictates the proper coarse of actions at a confined space incident and that means without the proper equipment you await for equipment and if necessary people with entry level training to arrive. It's part of the risk management cycle we all follow. TO BLINDLY ENTER when others have already passed out is something we refer to as the lemming syndrome where one lemming follows the front lemming over a cliff. As I've said this is usually a recovery by the time we get there so time is not of the essence, regardless with no protective equipment or training no actions can be warranted. Lets not loose more brothers in this manner.