A two-year-old boy drowned to death in five feet of mud when he tumbled down an unmarked well near a children’s playground.
His father also died leaping into the 200-foot-deep well as he tried to save him, reported local media in Salihli, Manisa Province, Turkey.
Husband and wife Aytug and Yagmur Demir had taken their toddler son Batu to a playground in the town on 5th January.
Batu had been riding his bicycle and running around when he suddenly plunged down a hole in the ground barely the width of a person.
His selfless dad Aytug, 28, immediately jumped in after him.
Passers-by called emergency services after hearing the pair’s screams.
Firefighters arrived on the scene and used a borescope camera to establish that both father and son were still alive.
Using heavy equipment, they began drilling a hole next to the well to reach the trapped pair.
After 10 hours, they had drilled down to 49 feet, only a quarter of the depth of the well, where the pair had been trapped.
By the time they reached the father and son, both were dead.
Aytug was found to be up to his chest in mud, while Batu was completely submerged.
Their bodies were first taken to the morgue of a local hospital and then sent to Izmir for post-mortem examinations.
It later emerged that the 197-foot-deep well had been drilled illegally.
It had been opened around six months earlier to try to irrigate nearby olive trees, but the abandoned well was never filled in.
The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Salihli is now investigating the case and police have made two arrests.
Site manager Hamza Akis and Vasfi Cakir – the manager of the company that bored the hole in the ground – were remanded in custody.
They are accused of causing multiple deaths by negligence.
Aytug worked as a manager in his family’s food company.
He and Yagmur, 28, had married in June 2020 and had only moved to Salihli two months before the tragedy.
Batu was their only child.
The well has now been closed.