5 killed by methane in Virginia farming accident

July 3, 2007 16:45

Deadly methane gas emanating from a Virginia dairy farm's manure pit killed five people, including a Mennonite family, in a tragic sequence as each tried to save the person who went in before, authorities said. Emergency workers speculate each of the victims climbed into the pit in a frantic attempt to rescue the others. "It was a domino effect with one person going in, the second person going after them," Sheriff Don Farley said. Farley identified the victims as Scott Showalter, 34; his wife, Phyillis, 33; their children, Shayla, 11, and Christina, 9; and Amous Stoltzfus, 24, who worked at the Showalter's dairy farm. "Before they hit the floor they were probably all dead," Farley said.

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