Treasure hunt leaves six dead

March 5th, 2009 - 1:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, March 5 (EFE) Six people died in the Mexican town of San Jose del Rincon after a tunnelling expedition in quest of supposed treasure ended in disaster, authorities said.
The Red Cross coordinator in Mexico state, Ricardo Contean Armendariz, said that the most likely hypothesis is that the first four to die generated a deadly amount of carbon dioxide inside the tunnel due to the faulty use of a gas-powered pump.

According to the version provided to the press by San Jose del Rincon official Isidro Cruz Gonzalez, residents said that the four were digging for supposed treasure in an area with numerous abandoned mines.

The other two victims were members of rescue crews dispatched to the scene who also died of asphyxia.

The state emergency-services chief, Arturo Vilchis Esquivel, said that during the rescue work begun Monday a paramedic and another first responder died as a result of excess gas inside the tunnel, while a firefighter managed to escape in time.

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