Man dies after fall into Chicago hotel smokestack

December 13, 2012

The Associated Press

Authorities have identified the 23-year-old man who died after falling into a smokestack atop a Chicago hotel.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's office says the victim is Nicholas Wieme of Chicago.

Authorities say he was trying to take a photo from the top of the Intercontinental Hotel on Michigan Avenue when he fell 22 feet down the smokestack. He was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital early Thursday.

Chicago Fire Department spokeswoman Meg Ahlheim says rescue crews found the man wedged into an angled portion of the smokestack.

Rescuers had to cut into the chimney's steel ductwork to remove him.

Ahlheim says crews used boards to keep him from falling farther. After the angled spot where he became wedged, the chimney is vertical for about 42 floors.