Coroner: Manure tank fumes kill Wisconsin farmer, 13 cows outdoors

AMHERST, Wis. - A coroner says a Wisconsin farmer and more than a dozen cattle died when they became overcome by fumes from a huge manure holding tank.

CBS Wausau affiliate WSAW reports that 29-year-old Michael Biadasz was found by other farm workers early Monday when they arrived at Biadasz Farms near Amherst to haul away manure from the football field-sized tank.

Portage County Coroner Scott Rifleman said Tuesday that the deaths of Biadasz and at least 13 cows are under investigation, but that they were probably overcome by methane or sulfur oxide. Rifleman says the farmer agitated the tank and despite being outside, pressure in the atmosphere during the time of his death prevented the gas from dissipating.

Other cows were also sickened by the fumes.

Amherst is about 140 miles northwest of Milwaukee.