Farmer lucky to be alive after tractor sinks to bottom of pit - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Farmer lucky to be alive after tractor sinks to bottom of pit

MIAMI, OH -

(NBC) - Ohio farmer Steve Moore is lucky to be alive after being trapped in a sinking tractor.

The accident happened on Sunday at a Miami county gravel pit not far from Troy. Moore says he was driving the spreader to a field behind the pit when he got too close to the water, the gravel gave way and a wheel slid.

Almost instantly, Moore says the whole piece of machinery was submerged in water and quickly sinking.

Without panicking, Moore searched the cab for an emergency release cable. He eventually found a small hammer that he used to break the window.

Moore escaped with only a few small cuts to his hands.

Troy Fire officials rushed to the scene and said he's lucky to be alive.

"He actually went down to the bottom," said David Newnam, Assistant Troy Fire Chief.

"Before the cab filled with water, it equalized and he was able to open door and swim to safety," Newman said.   

Officials said they were initially concerned because the gravel pit sits on top of the aquifer that provides water for the city of Troy.

When the tractor sank it had a tank full of diesel fuel and was hauling nearly a thousand gallons of weed killer.

"Just a couple gallons of the diesel fuel leaked and maybe 400 gallons of the product," said Newnam.

"But it was diluted, so according to EPA that's not a hazard at all," explained Newman. 

Officials said they will continue to monitor the quality of the water.

Copyright 2010 NBC. All rights reserved.

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