Father, son pulled from asphalt tanker die at the hospital

TAMPA, Fla. - Both a father and son pulled from inside an asphalt tanker in Tampa after becoming overwhelmed by fumes have died, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office confirmed Sunday.

According to Hillsborough County Sheriff's spokesperson Debbie Carter, the men were at a transport yard at 4904 Towaway Avenue in Tampa around 10:45 a.m. to help a friend who drives the tanker.

The men, Ernesto Gonzalez, 53, and Luiz Gonzalez, 29, both of 3002 W. St. Johns Street, climbed into the tanker after the owner of the tanker felt the tanker was draining slowly, possibly because of a bucket obstructing the drain, Carter said.

Once inside the tanker, the men were overcome by the fumes. Hillsborough County Fire-Rescue spokesperson Nacole Revette said the tanker had been carrying "hot asphalt" and created overpowering fumes.

Firefighters with gas masks on had to introduce oxygen into the tank and setup a pulley system before raising the unconscious men from the tanker.

Once they reached the men, they were given oxygen and taken from the tanker. They were transported to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition.

Luis Gonzalez was pronounced dead at the hospital Saturday. His father, Ernesto Gonzalez died on Sunday.

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