Georgia sheriff’s deputy dies after inhaling liquid nitrogen

The Richmond County Coroner says Sgt. Greg Meagher was trying to rescue a Xytex worker when he was overcome by chemicals. (WRDW)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say an east Georgia sheriff’s deputy has died after inhaling liquid nitrogen while trying to save a clinic worker in Augusta.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office says in a statement 57-year-old Sargent Greg Meagher died Sunday after responding to a call at Xytex, a sperm donation clinic, at about 3:30 p.m.

An Augusta Fire Department representative confirms to CBS affiliate WRDW the substance that killed Sgt. Meagher was liquid nitrogen used to freeze sperm samples.

Three other deputies who had responded to the call already had been taken to a hospital after complaining of shortness of breath when firefighters arrived just before 4 p.m.

Lieutenant Allan Rollins confirms the deputies “are going to be okay” as of late Sunday.

The Xytex employee the deputies were trying to save was taken to a local hospital. Authorities have not confirmed her condition.

Sgt. Meagher’s body will be sent to Atlanta for an autopsy.

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