SOUTH MAHONING TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — An Amish teen has died after being overcome by a lack of oxygen inside of a silo on a farm in South Mahoning Township.
This happened Thursday morning at the Kimmell farm on Sinktown Road. The Indiana County Coroner’s Office has identified the teenager as 18-year-old Wollie Schlabach, Jr.
Schlabach climbed an interior chute in an 80-foot silo and lowered himself onto the silage. The silo was filled with decomposing grass and alfalfa.
“Once he’s there, he becomes immediately overcome by noxious fumes or a lack of oxygen there present inside the silo,” State Trooper John Matchik said.
The victim’s 15-year-old brother climbed the outside of the silo and went in after him, but he too was quickly overcome.
“I’m not sure at this point exactly what level of experience they may have had or how many different times they may have worked on site here before or the number of times they may have worked in a silo type of environment,” Matchik said.
Firefighters used a ladder to go in after the boys and were able to revive the 15-year-old with oxygen. The 18-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.
“It’s an absolute tragedy in every sense of the word when we lose a young person like this in a situation that unfolded this morning,” Matchik said.
There is no word on the condition of the 15-year-old.