Man dies after fall into Chicago hotel smokestack
CHICAGO – An aspiring comedian was attempting to take a photo from atop the historic Intercontinental Hotel when he fell 22 feet down the building's smokestack and later died, authorities said Thursday.
It took rescue crews four hours to pull Nicholas Wieme, 23, a Pipestone, Minn., native who had been living in Chicago, from the angled portion of the smokestack where he was wedged. The fall happened in an area of the Michigan Avenue hotel that is closed off from the general public, officials said.
"We found the best way to get out him was to go about two floors below, and we had to cut the duct work for the chimney, which was made out of steel. And eventually we ended up sliding the victim down into the hole and removing him from the building," said Michael Fox, the Chicago Fire Department's special operations chief.
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