On 7-25-2015 at 1:50 p.m., the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office received a call that two males were submerged in a hog manure pump pit at 3268 510 Ave. Fire Departments from Cylinder and Emmetsburg were dispatched as well as two Palo Alto County Ambulance from Emmetsburg.


Upon Sheriff’s Office arrival, Gene Opheim, age 58 of Cylinder, Ia., was pulled from the pump pit and life saving measures began. Austin Opheim, age 32 of Cylinder, was extricated from the manure pit by fire personnel and life saving measures began. Gene and Austin were transported by ambulance to the Palo Alto County Hospital and both succumbed to their injuries.


The Opheim’s were making repairs to the manure pit at the time of the incident. Austin had entered the pit and was overcome by gases contained in the pit. Gene entered the pit in the attempt to rescue his son.