emergency lights

JACKSON COUNTY, IL – The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department says a Grand Tower, Illinois, man died Tuesday and a woman was hospitalized after they mixed bleach with a commercial drain cleaner, trying to clear a clogged drain.

Sheriff’s deputies say when 68-year-old Alvin Heggie and 67-year-old Eileen Hudgins tried to clear a clogged drain in their Grand Yower home by mixing the two products, the chemicals reacted to create a poisonous gas.

Hudgins called 911 because Heggie was not breathing, and the dispatcher — quickly realizing what happened — instructed Hudgins to get out of the house.

Heggie was pronounced dead at the scene. Deputies say Hudgins was taken to a local hospital and later transferred to a St. Louis area hospital, and she is currently in stable condition.

Deputies were assisted at the scene by the Jackson County Ambulance Service and the Grand Tower Fire Department.