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Two workers found dead in parking lot

By Dave Watt

Two employees of Lincoln Laboratory died Wednesday after they were found unconscious in a van located in the laboratory's parking lot. Although a tank of nitrous oxide was found in the van, the cause of their deaths has not yet been determined.

Stephen J. Goodie, 34, and Daniel J. LeFave, 29, both worked as electricians at the laboratory. They were taken to two different hospitals, where both were pronounced dead.

Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is an anesthetic often abused as a mild intoxicant. In large doses, it can cause unconsciousness or death.

No determination has yet been made whether the tank of nitrous oxide, found in the back seat of the van, was leaking, or if the two men had intentionally inhaled the gas. The Air Force Special Investigations office and the FBI are investigating the deaths.

The Middlesex County coroner's office said that autopsies were performed on both men yesterday, but that the results would not be available until early next week. Bill McMullin of the FBI said that preliminary evidence indicated that the deaths were an accident. "Calling in the FBI does not automatically mean a crime has occurred," he added. The FBI has jurisdiction in all crimes or possible crimes occurring on federal property, McMullin said.

In an interview with the Boston Herald, Air Force Lt. Mark Mientek said that there were "no preliminary signs of foul play."