Construction worker suffers hydrogen sulfide poisoning
Two male construction workers repairing sewer pipes in a manhole in Okinawa City shortly after midnight, Thursday, suddenly started feeling ill, and one of them was taken to a hospital.
The Okinawa City Fire Station Emergency Team arrived at the worksite in Koshiki, Okinawa City, after a 44-year-old male worker managed to get out of the manhole and made an emergency call. When the rescue team arrived, they found the worker who had placed the call beside the hole, and his 47-year-old co-worker was rescued unconscious from inside the hole. He was taken to a hospital where he remains in a serious condition.
According to the fire department, a gas detector showed the presence of hydrogen sulfide in the worksite. The fire department is investigating the origin of the gas, and the cause of the incident.
Hydrogen sulfide is a highly poisonous gas that often is a result of the bacteria breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen, and is often found in swamps and sewers.