Colbert man dies from mercury poisoning

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DURANT, Okla. - A Colbert man who suffered mercury poisoning while using mercury to remove gold from electronic equipment has died.

Durant/Bryan County Emergency Management Director James Dalton says 55-year-old Tony Winnett died at a Tulsa hospital.

Dalton also says the home where Winnett and Melissa Lake used the mercury is so contaminated it's now uninhabitable.

Lake also suffered mercury poisoning and was treated and released at a hospital in Durant.

Authorities say the technique of using mercury to separate gold once was used by industrial miners in the American West but was banned because it's so dangerous.

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