One man died and another was injured after falling into a water tower in Lower Providence Township Wednesday.
Officials confirmed that Jason Schmidt, 31, of Jacobus, fell to his death. After several hours, his body was removed by the Montgomery County Coroner's Office.
Another worker, Miguel Martinez, 38, of Pennsgrove, N.J. was injured in the accident. He was suspended in mid-air in his safety harness, dangling 40 to 60 feet above. It took rescue workers around three hours to free him.
"The victim was suspended in his work harness which required us to enter into the tank and extricate him," said Chief Bryan McFarland of the Lower Providence Fire Department.
He was home from the hospital Thursday afternoon, according to authorities.
Officials say Schmidt, Martinez and another subcontractor with Corosion Control out of Pendricktown, N.J. were working on the water tower on 40 Featherbed Lane when they fell into the tank. The tower is on the property of the Audobon Water Company, according to Lower Providence Township.
McFarland tells NBC10 that Martinez was able to speak as firefighters worked.
“We had to monitor the atmosphere because we weren’t going to send rescuers into an atmosphere that doesn’t support life,” said McFarland. “We were monitoring from the bottom and from the top side with atmospheric measuring equipment.”
McFarland also says the emergency call initially stated industrial equipment had malfunctioned.