Workers rescued from giant vat of fish feces
Rescuers cut through a filtration tank of dense fish feces to reach four workers who fell into the sludgy dung Friday while cleaning the 18-foot tank at a western Massachusetts farm.
The workers became trapped for 45 minutes after a bracket holding a plastic filtration pad collapsed as workers stood on it to clean the fiberglass tank at the Australis Aquaculture fish farm, said Turners Falls Fire Capt. David Dion and the fish farm's manager, Josh Goldman.
One of the farmhands was submerged in what Dion described as a sand-and-feces mix, while the other three had their heads above the sludge, he said.
Dion said rescue workers cut a hole in the side of the tank at the farm, which raises barramundi, a fish farmed as a replacement for grouper.
"It was very slimy and it was heavy," he said. "Never seen anything like it in my life."
The worker who fell under the feces was airlifted to Bay State Medical Center in Springfield, but was talking with paramedics and did not appear to have life-threatening injuries, Dion said.
The other three were taken by ambulance to a local hospital with minor injuries.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.
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