Archive for Thursday, March 15, 2007

Fall at De Soto plant injures local man

March 15, 2007

A 45-year-old Eudora man is in an area hospital after falling 40 feet Monday night in a water intake tube on the Kansas River.

Johnson County Sheriff's Office spokesman Tom Erickson said James Edward Lobner of Eudora was extricated from the intake tube Monday. He and a companion, 45-year-old Jerry Claypool of De Soto, told officers they had been fishing on the river before starting to explore the intake works about 2 miles northeast of downtown De Soto on the Kansas River. But Erickson said the story wasn't supported by what deputies found at the scene.

"There was nothing to indicate anyone had been fishing," Erickson said. "There was no fishing equipment."

Erickson said charges against the two men for trespassing and criminal damage to property would be submitted to the Johnson County District Attorney's Office.

Lt. Danny Rake of Johnson County Fire District No. 3 said Lobner fell about 40 feet down the concrete intake. Rake said Claypool called 911 on his cell phone at about 9:30 p.m. Rake said a firefighter from his department entered the tube when he got to the scene, but rescuers waited until the arrival of a specialized "high-angle" rescue truck from Olathe to remove the injured man from the tube.

Lobner was lifted from the tube about 45 minutes after the first rescue units arrived at the site, Rake said. He was taken by helicopter to Overland Park Regional Medical Center.

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