NORTH MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A northern Miami restaurant owner who became trapped in a septic system outside his business Sunday afternoon was rushed to an area hospital where he died.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokeswoman Griselle Marino said one of the owners of Esther’s Restaurant on NW 103rd Street at 7th Avenue was working on the underground septic system when he began to have trouble breathing. Rochny Jules, a 20-year old cashier, said he heard screams for help and scrambled into the tank to save his boss who he identified as Thomas Gil.
“I tried to help him but I feel like I didn’t do enough,” said Jules.
Jules said Gil was on a ladder passed out inside an underground manhole. The younger man said he went into the manhole to try and help.
“Somebody attempted to go down there first but he couldn’t fit because he wasn’t small enough,” said Jules, “So my first instinct was I’m going to go down there and try to put his head up.”
But soon the fumes overcame Jules to and he had to be pulled out of the tank by the other employees.
“I felt weak, I couldn’t go back because of the gas. All I remember is he pulled me back up and I laid right here in the dirt, I passed out for a couple of minutes,” said Jules.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue rushed Gil to North Shore Medical Center where he died.
Esther’s will remain closed Sunday and Jules did not know when it would re-open.