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Farmer And His 13 Cows Found Dead - Officials Finally Reveal Cause

A farmer is struggling with an ongoing problem. The farmer lost his son to a devastating natural disaster, and previously lost 13 of his cows. Now, three more cows are dead, and the man is wondering when this nightmare will end.

Bob Biadasz, the co-owner of Wisconsin's Biadasz Farms, said the tragedy that killed his son has struck again. The tragic event is a deadly 'dome of air' that releases toxic gas under certain conditions.

According to Biadasz, gasses from his manure-holding tank, when mixed with unusual and unexpected weather patterns come together to create the 'perfect storm', can turn deadly.

Biadasz says his son, Michael, was killed early one morning in August of 2016 while doing his chores. Chemicals like methane and sulfur oxide created fumes that got trapped in a 'dome of air', and Michael was unfortunately in the wrong place at the wrong time.

He was overcome by the fumes and his body was later found by farm workers.

Thirteen other cows at the farm were also killed by the deadly air dome created by the football-field-size manure tank. When the manure tank's contents are agitated, they pump out the building gasses.

When those gasses are met with warm upper air temperatures, the air traps the gasses in what Portage County Coroner Rifleman dubbed the 'deadly dome of air'.

"I know of 13 dead cows. There were others that were sick. I am unsure if any more died," Rifleman had said.

The tank agitation and pumping has been performed 'hundreds of times', but it's only when the weather is right that it results in such dangerous conditions.

As it turns out, three more cows have been claimed by the phenomenon. Rifleman conducted an autopsy on the animals and is awaiting the toxicology reports to determine the cause of death, but he's seen the gas poisoning enough now to recognize it.

The Biadasz farm in Wisconsin isn't the only one that has been affected by the deadly gas phenomenon. In Virginia, at a dairy farm in the Shenandoah Valley, a family of five were killed by methane from the farm's manure pit. Three adults worked on the farm, and two of the victims were their children.

"When these fumes hit you, it takes a matter of seconds, and it's my guesstimate that these people were dead before they actually hit the floor," said Sheriff Don Farley of Rockingham County to CBS News.

Sewers and sewer gas leakages have also caused unexpected deaths by methane. In Mississippi, two sewer workers died after coming into contact with methane gas.

Unfortunately, it's hard for people to detect the colorless, odorless gas until it's too late. In small quantities, it can cause headaches, heart palpitations or make it difficult to concentrate, but in larger quantities it can leave unsuspecting victims dead.

Michigan State University Extension's National Agriculture Safety Database warns that asphyxiation can be the result of the toxic gas released from manure pits when it's released rapidly and it warns farmers to take precautions to protect both humans and livestock.

Source: WAOW, WSAW
Photo: Stevens Point City-Times, GardenWeb, Facebook

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