November 18, 2013

A 36-year-old Lake View man died Saturday when he climbed into a manure tank without a mask and oxygen to help him breathe.

Jeremy Schulte, 36, collapsed in the tank less than a minute after using a ladder to climb inside about 8:55 p.m., Buena Vista Sheriff Gary Launderville said.

Schulte and another man were spraying manure on a farm field at 4850 70th Ave., about 12 miles north of Storm Lake, when the sprayer malfunctioned, Launderville said. Schulte climbed into the tank to fix the problem and apparently lost consciousness because of the dense manure fumes.

"The fumes are so toxic," Launderville said. "Within 30 seconds to a minute (the other man) could see that he had collapsed."

Firefighters with masks and oxygen tanks retrieved Schulte's body from the manure tank. Autopsy results on his body are pending.

Launderville did not know who employed Schulte.