07-15-2004, 08:33 AM #1Former Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
- In heels
Not a good way to die
For nearly 30 years, septic services contractor Kermit Dale Lancaster earned good money going places most people dread, his family said.
A former Marine, Lancaster, 67, joked about his gritty job but never complained about the work that supported his wife and three sons.
The Thonotosassa man died at Tampa General Hospital at 9:20 p.m. Monday after becoming trapped in an underground tank at Acorn Trace Apartments, 11115 N. Nebraska Ave., slipping neck-deep into sewage, officials said.
``It's pretty hard to deal with,'' his son, Troy Lancaster, 29, a St. Petersburg computer engineer, said Tuesday through sobs. ``You kind of hope for dignity at the end.''
The Tampa office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration plans to investigate his death, acting area director Brian Hennessy said.
OSHA's standards for confined spaces such as sewer systems require the area to be evaluated for hazards before an employee enters.
Tampa Fire Rescue officials said Lancaster was wearing rubber boots about 1:15 p.m. when he entered the tank, which is about 4 feet wide and 12 feet deep and pumps sewage to the city's sewer lines.
He had retired about a year ago but went to work with his youngest son, Travis, 27, who was taking over the business, Dale Lancaster Inc. ``I don't think he realized his limits had changed,'' Troy Lancaster said.
He became disoriented and yelled for help, Troy Lancaster said, possibly because of the heat in the sweltering tank and methane, which deprives the heart and brain of oxygen.
``My father had always warned me about methane,'' he said. ``He used to say, `If you get to where you're feeling lightheaded, get out.' ''
A co-worker passed the man a ladder and tried to grab his hands, but they were slippery and he slid farther into the sewage, Troy Lancaster said. At some point, he inhaled and ingested the material, he said.
Firefighters gave him oxygen and pulled him from the tank, Capt. Tracy Walker said. The rescue took about 25 minutes. Funeral arrangements are pending.
07-15-2004, 08:07 PM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
Okay, I was going to ask if there was a good way to die, but after reading this story, I must agree. This was most definately a bad way to die! I hope to never ever be in a situation like this one!