Georgia deputy dies after liquid nitrogen incident at sperm bank

Richmond County Deputy Sheriff Greg Meagher was just awarded for 30 years of service. (WJBF)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Sgt. Greg Meagher of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is dead after he responded to an alarm activation at Xytex Corporation, a sperm bank, on Emmett St. in Augusta.

Upon arrival around 3:30 p.m., Sgt. Meagher died after inhaling an “unknown chemical substance,” according Sgt. Shane McDaniel at the the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

The Augusta Fire Department and a HazMat team arrived at Xytex arund 4 p.m. after someone reported an nitrogen leak, according to Augusta EMA. They found an unresponsive Richmond County Deputy inside and a female Xytex employee in a side location of the structure. They pulled them both out and sent them to the hospital.

In total, four deputies and one employee were transported to the hospital, officials say. One of those deputies was Sgt. Meagher.

HazMat team members were able to shut off liquid nitrogen tanks at the scene, according to a press release from Augusta-Richmond County EMA. No firefighters were injured.

Recently Sheriff Richard Roundtree gave Sgt. Meagher an award for his more than 30 years of service with the sheriff’s office.

In June of 2004 Sgt. Meagher was shot in the head by a suspect during a drug raid and nearly lost his life.

He recovered from that injury and returned to his duties with the sheriff’s office.

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