COLUMBIA CITY — Three people died Tuesday morning when they were trapped inside a sewer manhole in Columbia City.
At 8:52 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25, Columbia City Police and Fire departments were dispatched to the scene of a utility accident at 464 S. Main St., involving three individuals being trapped inside a sewer manhole. Contractors had been working in the area on the Columbia City Long Term Control Plan, according to a news release from the city.
The men were found inside the sewer manhole 20 feet below the surface. Approximately five feet of water was present in the manhole. The Fort Wayne Technical Rescue Team was immediately called and upon their arrival, extricated three men.
EMTs immediately started life-saving procedures. Unfortunately, all three men were declared dead at the scene.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
Mayor Ryan Daniel issued the following statement on the accident:
“The City of Columbia City extends our heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in a utility accident today, and to their employer. While all the details are unknown at this time, we will be working with all parties to determine ways in which these types of tragedies can be prevented in the future.
We ask that our community join us in keeping these individuals and their families in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”