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Minnesota man dies in Chicago hotel shaft fall

Nicholas Wieme

A 23-year-old Minnesota man was pronounced dead following a bizarre incident early this morning in Chicago.

According to Chicago news sources, the man has been identified as Nicholas Wieme, formerly of Pipestone, Minn. Wieme currently lived on the north side of Chicago and was an aspiring comedian. His Facebook page says he attended Minnesota State University Moorhead from 2007 to 2011, when he graduated.

According to reports, Wieme was with his girlfriend on the roof of the 42-story InterContinental Hotel on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, trying to take some photographs, when he fell about 22 feet into a smokestack and became wedged between the walls.

Rescue crews were dispatched to the scene about 1 a.m. They were able to communicate with the man via cellphone for about two hours before losing contact.

Rescue personnel went down the chute on ropes to monitor his condition and wedged boards in the chute to keep him from falling further down. They eventually were able to extricate the man by cutting through the wall beneath him.

Wieme was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago at about 5 a.m. Thursday.