Police officer, 2 workers hospitalized after exposure to paint fumes in water tank (Athens, AL)


By Leada Gore | [email protected]

Three people, including a police officer, were taken to the hospital Monday after being exposed to paint fumes inside a water tank.

Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson said the department received a call Monday morning reporting an employee was stuck inside a water tank at Keenum’s Construction Co. on Highway 31 South. When officers arrived, they found the employee inside a construction water tank on the back of a large truck. Officers said the man was painting inside the water tank and was overcome by the fumes and was barely breathing.

Athens Police Sgt. Katrina Flanagan and a second worker entered the tank to rescue the employee. While there, the other rescuer told Flanagan he couldn’t breathe and she removed her breathing device and gave it to him.

Athens Fire and Rescue arrived and pulled the original employee from the tank. Flanagan and the other employee reported problems with the fumes and had to be assisted out of the tank. All three were transported to Athens-Limestone’s Hospital’s Emergency room by ambulance.

Johnson said Flanagan was set to be released Monday. Conditions on the others workers were not released.