A worker died Friday after breathing hydrogen sulfide fumes while cleaning large-diameter pipes at a wastewater treatment plant Thursday at the Port of Tampa.
Officials say seven employees of Lanzo Lining, Inc. were cleaning the 96-inch pipes at the Howard F. Curren Advanced Wastewater treatment plant when hydrogen sulfide fumes appeared inside a sewer pipe.
Two workers inside the pipe were overtaken by fumes.
Two other workers went into the pipe to help their co-workers, when they too were overcome by fumes. The remaining workers attempted to render aid to the other four, but were also affected by the fumes.
Tampa Fire Rescue responded to the scene and transported a total of seven workers to Tampa General Hospital for medical treatment.
Jesus Jimenez, 33, died from inhalation. A second worker remains hospitalized, but in good condition. The others The were treated and released.
During the rescue, six Tampa Firefighters were also affected by the fumes. They were treated at TGH and released.
At 11 p.m. Thursday, Tampa Fire Hazmat conducted meter readings of the area surrounding the incident. Hazmat reported normal Hydrogen Sulfide readings during their tests and deemed the surrounding area safe.
They did advise that the pipe and excavation area would need further evaluation.
Tampa Police are working with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and project managers to determine the source of the fumes and assess safety concerns.
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