Cousins Gassed To Death While Cleaning Septic Tank

Story ByAna LacasaSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyNewsflash

Two cousins have died after inhaling toxic gases and passing out whilst cleaning out a relative’s septic tank in Majorca.

The incident occurred as cousins Mateo Rigo Ribas, 46, and Mateo Ribas Gallard, 47, were cleaning and doing maintenance work on a septic tank for a relative in the village of Montuiri, in the eastern Spanish province of Majorca, in the Balearic Islands region on Friday at around 10:30 am.

Local newspaper Diario de Mallorca report Mateo Rigo Ribas was cleaning out the septic tank and he began to move the water kept inside, releasing gases which made him faint.

Newsflash

His cousin then rushed to help him but also became dizzy and neither man could get out of the tank.

Other relatives of the two men then called the emergency services and firefighters, local police, Civil Guard officers and an ambulance went to the scene.

Firefighters pulled both men from the tank and found both had suffered cardiac arrest. Mateo Rigo died at the scene while paramedics managed to find vital signs with his cousin who was taken to Manacor hospital in a critical condition. He was later transferred to Son Espases hospital where he died yesterday (Sunday).

Newsflash

Spanish Civil Guard confirmed that the gas leak from a septic tank was believed to be to blame for the tragedy.

Local newspaper Ultima Hora report that experts warn that inside wells, water collectors, septic tanks and cisterns there can be a large amount of dangerous gas inside. The gases are heavy and can force oxygen up so that those who go inside can suffocate to death.

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Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.