A 2-year-old boy is safe after becoming partially submerged in a liquid manure pit in central Minnesota.
The incident happened at a farm on the 2000 block of 300 Street in Farming Township – west of St. Cloud – around 8 p.m. Monday. The 911 caller reported that the boy fell into the manure pit, and when Albany Fire and Rescue arrived at the scene they found the toddler about a foot from the edge of the pit with both of his legs and right arm submerged.
First responders were able to tie a rope around around one of the rescuers and reach in and pull the boy from the pit. The boy wasn't injured.
According to the National Ag Safety Database (NASD), liquid manure pits around the country contain hazardous gases and lack oxygen, and are therefore capable of causing asphyxiation. There have also been cases reported where "several individuals have died while attempting to rescue a coworker or family member from a pit."
NASD advises that all manure pits be treated "as if it is a death trap and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and others if entry is necessary."
The CDC also has recommendations for safety around manure pits:
- all manure pits should be ventilated,
- the atmosphere within the pit should be tested before entry,
- a standby person should be in constant contact and ready to lift the worker to safety with mechanical lifting equipment (winch, hoist, or pulley), and
- anyone entering a manure pit should wear a safety belt or harness with a lifeline tied to the mechanical lifting device.