A 29-year-old Wisconsin man died on his family’s farm after fumes from a cow manure pit mixed with unusual weather conditions to form a “deadly dome of air,” authorities said.
Michael Biadasz died after becoming overwhelmed by gases emanating from the waste repository, the coroner ruled.
His father, Bob Biadasz, said unexpected weather conditions trapped the fumes "in a perfect storm" hovering close to the ground, WAOW-TV reported.
Sixteen cows also died on the farm near Amherst, Wisconsin.
“The family is devastated, absolutely devastated,” said Portage County Coroner Scott Rifleman, the station reported.
"This was just a tragic series of events that occurred," the coroner said. "It’s just a fluke."
Methane and sulfur dioxide fumes are believed to be the cause of death.
Biadasz had cleaned the pit, which is about the size of a football field, hundreds of times, his father said. But this time, abnormal weather conditions prevented the deadly gases from dissipating.
The young man was found about 6:30 a.m. by farm workers who had come to help empty the holding unit.
His funeral is scheduled for Thursday.