Two die from inhaling toxic fumes while repairing septic tank

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The incident occurred in the Castalla Internacional urbanisation
The incident occurred in the Castalla Internacional urbanisation

  • Two men have died after inhaling toxic gases inside a septic tank that they were working onin Castilla, just inland from Benidorm.  A third worker was found unconscious but later recovered.

Two men aged 59 and 38 died on Tuesday afternoon while working on the repair of a sewage pit in the Castalla Internacional urbanisation in the town. Both men perished from the inhalation of toxic gases inside the septic tank, which belongs to the to the public sewerage system, while a third man recovered after being dragged from the sewer unconscious. The Civil Guard has opened an investigation to ascertain the causes of the tragic event.

The incident occurred at about 5pm in the Castalla Internacional urbanisation, located about three kilometres from the town centre. Four workmen belonging to the local Pallisa plumbing company went to the sewer collector in this residential area, where several sewerage pipes converge, with the aim of repairing a pump.

According to sources one of them climbed into the septic tank, about three metres deep, losing consciousness, which caused a second individual to enter the tank, suffering the same fate. A third operator also tried to help his colleagues with the help of a harness, although he didn’t get to the bottom of the tank, almost immediately feeling unwell and losing consciousness.

While the third employee operator eventually recovered his two colleagues were both pronounced dead at the site. Members of the Civil Guard and the local police attended the scene, removing one of the individuals from inside the sewer, while firefighters removed the second body.

A SAMU ambulance was also despatched to the scene but both men were dead on its arrival. The Emergency Information and Coordination Centre (CICU) said that both deaths were caused by gas inhalation.

Firefighters conducted an analysis of the air quality inside the pit, confirming that it presented values ​​that were incompatible with life.

Although the deceased operators worked for company in Castalla, neither of them were the area.

Civil Guard agents at the scene are undertaking an investigation that should clarify the reasons for the tragic event although it seems certain that the deaths will be attributed to toxic poisoning.

The mayor, Antonio Bernabeu, and the first deputy mayor, Maite Gimeno, also attended the scene but said that they did not want to make statements out of respect for the investigations and the deceased, until they have more information about what happened.

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