Identities and cause of death released following utility accident in Columbia City Tuesday

("Ambulance" by Andrew Malone, CC BY 2.0)

A coroner has identified a father and son as two of the three men who died after becoming trapped in a manhole while working on a sewer project in Columbia City.

Whitley County Coroner Randy Dellinger said Wednesday the incident killed 48-year-old Jason Ball and 21-year-old Bronson Ball, both of Columbia City, along with 43-year-old Douglas Kramer of Fort Wayne. Dellinger says each man died from asphyxia caused by a low-oxygen environment and subsequent drowning. The deaths were ruled accidental.

The three men were working on a storm sewer 25 feet down when they became trapped Tuesday. There was 5 feet of water inside.