By Leslie Gartrell
Celina Daily Standard
ST. HENRY — Three brothers who became trapped in a manure pit at a farm near St. Henry died on Tuesday.
An official with Hogenkamp Funeral Home, St. Henry, on Tuesday night confirmed the funeral home is handling the arrangements for Gary, 37, Todd, 31, and Brad Wuebker, 35.
Emergency personnel were called to the farm at 12:30 p.m. after receiving a call that three men had passed out in a manure pit at a livestock operation at 2319 Coldwater Creek Road, St. Henry Fire Department Chief Matt Lefeld said.
Lefeld said the men were pulled from the pit and were non-mobile and unconscious. Lefeld said they were performing maintenance on a manure pump before the accident occurred.
The men were transported to Mercer County Community Hospital, Coldwater, and at least Brad Wuebker was transported to a hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind., according to Lefeld.
A Mass for the Wuebker family was conducted Wednesday evening at St. Henry Catholic Church.
Assisting at the scene were the Celina Fire Department and dive team, Celina and Chickasaw emergency medical services, Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, Southern Mercer County Joint Ambulance District and the Wapakoneta Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Manure pit gases are the biggest concern for health and safety around manure handling and storage pits, according to the Ohio State University Extension. Hydrogen sulfide, methane, carbon monoxide and ammonia are gases of concern.
Lower levels of hydrogen sulfide gas concentration levels will cause symptoms of nausea, headache and dizziness, while higher levels of the gas will cause alerted breathing, collapse and death, according to OSU Extension. Exposure to ammonia results in immediate burning sensation and redness in the eyes. Methane and carbon monoxide are odorless and difficult to detect by smell, according to extension information.