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Third York employee dies after breathing toxic fumes

By By Sharon White/The Meridian Star
March 11, 2001
A third person has died after breathing toxic fumes while working as an employee of the town of York, Ala.
Otha Hinson, 35, of York was pronounced dead at 3:10 p.m. Saturday at Rush Foundation Hospital. He had been brought to the Meridian hospital and placed in intensive care shortly after the accident Thursday about 5 p.m.
Lauderdale County Coroner Marl Cobler said Hinson died of asphyxiation, which is what Sumter County Coroner Terry Peeler said killed Hinson's two co-workers Thursday.
Hinson was one of four city employees who that day were exposed to methane gas fumes while working on a sewer line on Fourth Avenue at a location commonly referred to as Highway 11 in York.
Peeler said Arthur Jones, 35, and J.D. Coleman, 44, died about two-and-a-half hours after arriving at Hill Hospital in York, where they were taken immediately following the accident.
The men where brothers-in-law. Peeler said.
He said David Webb, the only survivor of the those involved in the accident, remained in good condition Saturday at Druid City Hospital in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Webb was to be placed in a private room Saturday morning, and was reportedly eating solid foods.
Cobler said Hinson's body will be sent back to Sumter County, where Alabama authorities will decide whether an autopsy will be performed.
Authorities and city officials were not available for comments.
Sharon White is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at