TAMPA - One man is dead and his father is in critical condition after they breathed in noxious fumes inside an empty asphalt tanker today, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.
Emergency personnel went to a truck terminal at 4904 Towaway Road about 11:45 a.m. after receiving a report of two people found unconsciousness inside the tanker.
There was no asphalt in the tank, just fumes from lack of ventilation, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Nacole Revette said.
Ernesto Gonzalez, 53, and his son Luis E. Gonzalez, 19, both of 3002 W. St. Johns St., had gone to the terminal to help a friend who drives a tanker that was parked at that location. The owner of the tanker thought that there had been an obstruction -- possibly a bucket -- inside the tanker that was causing it to drain slowly, deputies said.
The father and son went into the tanker to check on the obstruction and were overtaken by fumes., deputies said
Firefighters were able to pull the men out and take them to Tampa General Hospital. Luis Gonzalez was pronounced dead, and Ernesto Gonzalez is in critical condition, deputies said.