Despite the best efforts of rescuers, a man died after he got sucked into a storm drain pipe in Lawrence Township, Mercer County, N.J. on Tuesday afternoon.
The victim was helping workers in the area clean up around the Delaware and Raritan Canal after Hurricane Irene. He picked up a manhole cover, police said, and the pressure from Irene's swollen waters sucked him into the pipe below.
"We believe he may have removed the [manhole] cover to release some of the water pressure," said Police Chief Daniel Pusluszny.
Two other people were also being pulled in by the whirlpool but were rescued by witnesses, authorities said.
That was around 2:15 p.m. in the 200 block of Bakers Basin Road. Around 10 p.m. his body was found about two miles away at the Ewing Lawrence Sewage Plant.
It was unclear how long the victim's body had been at the location but authorities did say he had traveled through pipes to the sewage plant.
Rescue workers had earlier lowered a camera into the manhole to help in the search.
Police identified the victim as the property owner of a local nursery.
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