2 men die after falling into manure pit at family farm


Two Wisconsin men died after falling into a manure pit and being overcome by the gases.

This embed is invalid

The incident happened at a family farm in the town of Woodmohr (about 25 miles north of Eau Claire) around 5:15 p.m. Thursday, the Chippewa County Sheriff's Office said in a press release.

On the scene, deputies learned the two men – both of Bloomer, Wisconsin – were trying to get a piece of equipment that had fallen into the pit.

While doing that, they were "overcome by the manure gas," the sheriff's office says, and became unresponsive.

First responders were able to pull both the men from the pit, but efforts to revive them were unsuccessful.

Chippewa County Chief Deputy Chad Holum described it as "tragic."

Dangers of manure pits

Manure pots are pretty much exactly what they sound like – a collection of manure that farm animals produce that gets stored together, and can sometimes be repurposed into fertilizer. (If you're interested in the step-by-step process, check out this blog post by Dairy Carrie).

But they're also dangerous.

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains, the manure in the pit "undergoes anaerobic digestive fermentation" – and that generates four potentially dangerous gases: Methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, and ammonia.

Those gases can build up, and the air around the pit can be depleted of oxygen.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration statistics show, in the past 15 years, six people have died while on the job in connection with manure pits: two died from asphyxiation, the others drowned.

Next Up

mickey moore driver's license shared

Beleaguered Ward 9 city council candidate loses Strib endorsement

Mickey Moore has faced questions in recent days about where he actually lives.

CDC biohazard scientist health work

New clue may explain how rare tropical disease sickened Minnesotan

The disease, known as melioidosis, killed 2 people earlier this year.

Sen Mark Koran crop

MN lawmaker encourages donations for locals charged in Jan. 6 insurrection

"They are a good family!" Sen. Mark Koran wrote Friday.


Money Gal Coaching: Mastering the spiritual parts of money

Kelly Blodgett used her passion behind becoming debt free to launch Money Gal Coaching.

University of minnesota sign

U of M will now require proof that employees have been vaccinated for COVID

Previously, only students were required to be vaccinated.

Jim Hagedorn

Report reveals details about ethics investigation into Rep. Hagedorn

The congressman described the report's findings as "unfounded conclusions."


SkyWest cancels hundreds of flights due to server error

More than 80 have been canceled at MSP Airport.


First elk in more than 100 years spotted in parts of southern WI

The elk population was reintroduced to Wisconsin in recent decades.

grand marais

10 beautiful Minnesota cities to visit for outdoor adventures

These places are perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway.


manure pit

2-year-old rescued from liquid manure pit at farm near St. Cloud

Manure pits have proved deadly for a number of reasons in the past.

Woman dies after falling into fire pit in Stearns County

The Stearns County sheriff's office says 57-year-old Bonita Schwandt had been sitting alone by the fire pit. Her boyfriend found her body when he went to check on her.