Four choke to death in stepwell

August 18th, 2010 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Nagpur (Maharashtra), Aug 18 (IANS) Four people choked to death in a Nagpur village due to suspected fumes inside a stepwell, police said Wednesday.
The incident took place in Majari village, 70 km from here, when Keshav Panchbudhe, 45, went inside the stepwell to retrieve a vessel that had fallen inside.

“When Panchbudhe did not return after a long time, another worker on his farm Vanusa Nakhate, 40, descended into the stepwell, only to find Panchbudhe struggling in the water. He also died,” Sanjay Bhalerao, a police officer, told IANS.

Two other workers, Gulab Hargude, 45, and Vishnu Giri, 40, met with the same fate when they went to rescue the two victims.

“Nobody could have died of drowning as the water in the stepwell was only two feet deep. We suspect they died of suffocation,” Bhalerao said.

“A small experiment of putting a lamp in the well was conducted by our team. The lamp went off midway and hence we suspect lack of oxygen to be the cause of death. However, the actual cause of death will only be ascertained after we get the post-mortem reports,” he added.

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