Man dies after falling into well in Carpenter
UPDATE: The victim was identified as 52 year old Erasmo Baeza Gonzalez. Gonzales was employed by the dairy farm and lived on the property. Gonzalez fell into a well shaft with 2 to 3 feet of water on the bottom. Deputies believe methane from manure on the dairy farm gathered at the bottom, forming a gas pocket over the water.
At approximately 9:50 am on Tuesday June 5, Laramie County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to 5453 County Road 202, the Burnett Dairy Farm for a reported drowning.
Responding deputies found three males suffering from methane inhalation exposure and were told that a fourth person was presumed to have drowned in a well house on the property.
The male who died was an employee of the dairy farm; he along with one of the owners of the property and two electrical contractors entered the well house to make repairs.
Deputies were told that the employee slipped and fell into the well and immediately died because of the methane fumes and went under water. The owner and one of the contractors attempted to pull the victim out but were also overcome; the second contractor was able to pull the two men from the well but was unable to reach the employee.
At this time, one death is confirmed and three who were injured by the fumes were transported to Cheyenne for treatment. One of the injured had to be transported to the hospital by a Life Flight helicopter; the others were transported via ambulance. Their conditions are unknown at this time.
The Department of Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA) was notified and will be investigating the incident.
The name of the deceased victim is being withheld pending notification of family members.