Worker Dies While Cleaning Wisconsin Water Tank

The cleaner mentioned feeling cold to co-workers but continued to work.

March 27, 2024

According to a press release by the Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, Sheriff’s Department, a maintenance worker died while cleaning one of the community’s water tanks.

On Friday, March 23, Carlos Medina, a 30-year-old man from El Paso, Texas, was cleaning off sentiment inside the Blair, Wisconsin, city water tank using a 90-foot suction tube. Medina was wearing scuba gear and a wet suit during the work. Two co-workers who were also at the site noted that he had been in the tank approximately 45 minutes, at which point Medina stated that he was starting to feel cold yet continued to work. The co-workers speculated that Medina then entered a hypothermic state and lost strength and mobility in his hands.

Ultimately, Medina became tangled in the suction tube, leaving his co-workers unable to remove him from the tank. When first responders and law enforcement arrived at the scene, Medina was found motionless, roughly six feet below the surface of the water. Together with the co-workers, they were able to remove Medina, but life-saving measures performed on him were unsuccessful.

The incident remains under investigation.

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