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Man Killed Making Maple Syrup After Sugar Shack Collapse

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A man was killed by strong winds while making maple syrup. A drop of fresh sap falls from a tap in a maple tree March 28, 2006 in Bowdoin, Maine. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

By Alex Perry, IBT

[post_ads]Powerful winds ravaged parts of New York state Wednesday, with at least one death directly attributed to the force of the winds. Jonas Swartzentruber of Theresa, New York, died Wednesday afternoon after wind knocked over the shack he was working in, the Associated Press reported.

According to reports, Swartzentruber was inside the small structure along with a 15-year-old boy around 1 p.m. Wednesday. Swartzentruber, 36, was producing maple syrup in the shack when the wind knocked it over. The teenager managed to escape and get help from nearby neighbors.

They returned to the site and used jacks to lift the debris off Swartzentruber, who had been pinned down by the damaged building. Their efforts came too late, as the syrup maker was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the AP, winds reached speeds of up to 75 miles per hour, damaging structures and killing power for some 80,000 people throughout parts of the Empire State. A church roof in Syracuse, for example, suffered structural damage from the forceful air bursts.

A similar problem beset Texas on Tuesday, with winds of 60 miles per hour recorded in the Houston area. A private airport hangar in the area reportedly collapsed due to the strong wind.

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