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UPDATE: Boil order in place after fired city worker found dead

UPDATE 5/29/18: An update on the drinking water ban in Dietrich.

There is now a boil order in place for the drinking water after tests came back clean.

But the city wants to wait for another test to come back today before they give the “all clear.”

On Friday, the city declared a drinking water ban after a fired city worker was found dead inside his home.

Officials were worried he may have poisoned the city’s drinking water.

UPDATE 10:10 a.m.: Residents of an Idaho town have been told not to drink the water after a fired municipal worker was found dead in his home by emergency workers who were hospitalized after entering the residence.

Dietrich Mayor Don Heiken says 62-year-old Tom Young was found dead Thursday. Heiken fired Young earlier this month.

Heiken says there’s concern Young contaminated the drinking water well serving the community of 300.

Lincoln County Disaster Services Coordinator Payson Reese says eight people including emergency responders became ill after entering the home, were sent to hospitals and later released.

It is not known how Young died or what sickened the emergency responders but Reese says a nitrogen canister was found in the home.

Nitrogen is common in the atmosphere, but too much can reduce oxygen levels.

ORIGINAL:

Authorities in south-central Idaho say one person is dead and eight others, including emergency responders, had to be sent to hospitals after apparently encountering excess nitrogen gas.

The Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office says emergency crews responded at about 10:15 a.m. Thursday to a report of an unresponsive man in a home in Dietrich.

Police say they found the man dead and a canister later identified as containing nitrogen, an odorless gas common in the Earth’s atmosphere but that can dilute the amount of oxygen present.

Among the eight people taken to hospitals were three Lincoln County sheriff’s deputies.

Dietrich Mayor Don Heiken says residents have been asked not to drink city water, but he wasn’t sure why.

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