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Associated Press, Published December 14 2012

Autopsy rules Chicago smokestack death of MSUM alum an accident

CHICAGO — Authorities say the death of a 23-year-old man who fell 22-feet down a Chicago skyscraper smokestack was an accident.

The Cook County medical examiner released autopsy results Friday for Nicholas Wieme, a native of Pipestone, Minn., who was living in Chicago. Wieme died from injuries suffered from a fall down a chimney. The aspiring comedian was attempting to take a photo from atop the Intercontinental Hotel when he fell down the Michigan Avenue building's smokestack. It took rescue crews four hours to pull Wieme from the smokestack.

Wieme, originally from Pipestone, Minn., graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead in December 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in English, said David Wahlberg, director of communications and marketing.

Wieme's girlfriend was on the roof with him and called 911 after he fell. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead early Thursday.

The fall happened in an area of the hotel that is closed to the public.

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Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.