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Second man dies after entering asphalt tanker in Tampa


Published:   |   Updated: July 1, 2013 at 07:08 AM

TAMPA - A second man has died after being overcome by noxious fumes after entering an empty asphalt tanker to determine why it was draining slowly, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

Ernesto Gonzalez, 53, died Sunday morning at Tampa General Hospital. His son Luis E. Gonzalez was pronounced dead Saturday.

Emergency personnel went to a truck terminal at 4904 Towaway Road about 11:45 a.m. Saturday 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 and 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 retrieved the men and took them to Tampa General.

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