Toxic gas may have caused deaths of two Nebraska men - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Toxic gas may have caused deaths of two Nebraska men


WEST POINT, Nebraska (KTIV) -- New details on the deaths of two Nebraska men whose bodies were discovered inside a manure pump house.

It happened last Friday night when officials were called to a hog confinement a few miles south of West Point, Nebraska.

At the time authorities weren't sure how the men died.

At first, officials thought it could have been electrocution that killed 63-year-old Alan Borhart, and 36-year-old Robert Holiday.

But, after today's autopsy results it seems more likely that toxic gas could be the cause.

The manure pump at Maple Creek Pig's is wrapped in police tape after the death of two company employees 36 year-old Robert Holiday and 63 year-old Alan Borhart.

"I know these guys for about six years I think, we feel really terrible about what happened we lost two friends," says co-worker Rick Rosales.

Authorities were called to the confinement at 9:40 Friday night. Maple Creek employees said Borhart and Holiday were pumping manure from one containment lagoon to another. They had been missing for some time.

"We started to miss these two guys and we called them and they never answered," says Rosales.

On scene authorities found the bodies of the Holiday and Borhart in the pump house, what was first thought of as a electrocution by the pump's now believed to be methane gas from the manure surrounding the area.

"It can happen any Hog confinement, cattle confinement anything like that with methane gas and carbon monoxide it's very possible," says Lyle Hansen, West Point Fire Chief.

Officials say by looking at the position of the bodies, they believe one man entered the pump house first and then was joined by the second man after some time had passed, possibly checking on his condition.

"You really can't smell it and when you are at a hog confinement you are going to smell the hog confinement you're not going to be able to tell how bad it is or nothing like that and it can over come you quickly," says Hansen.

"We try to simulate what happened and um and life you got to keep going," says Rosales.

Right now, methane gas is still the likely suspect.

But, officials are doing toxicology tests on the men's bodies to determine an exact cause of death.

The results could take a couple weeks to be finished.

Online Reporter: Forrest Saunders

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