A man and his mother died and three more were injured in a cesspool in Henan province after the man’s wife accidentally dropped her “expensive” cellphone into a toilet.
The woman had dropped the 2,000 yuan ($320) cellphone in a open-pit toilet, reported local newspaper Dahe Daily. Her husband jumped in to try to find the cellphone but was overcome by the fumes and lost consciousness. His mother went into the cesspit to try to help her son, but also fainted. In panic, the wife and her father-in-law followed immediately, but suffered similar fates, caused by the overpowering fumes. Two neighbors then entered the tank and became ill as well.
“The smell was too strong. I lost consciousness before I could see anything,” SCMP cited a neighbor as saying.
Other villagers found a rope and tied it on rescuers who, while taking turns, pulled six people out of the pit.
The husband and mother-in-law died in hospital while the woman and a neighbor remained in the intensive care unit. The father-in-law was also injured.
“Two lives have gone in five minutes and my cousin’s wife is still in coma, leaving a partially-paralyzed old man and a one-year-old son at home.” the husband’s uncle said, “What are we supposed to do?”
By Daniel Zhang