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Biogas poisoning claims seven lives in Sichuan pig farm accident

By Liang Shuang | | Updated: 2024-04-15 20:06
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A tragic accident at a pig farm in Pengzhou, Sichuan province, has claimed the lives of seven people on Saturday. Local authorities suspect biogas poisoning as the cause, with victims succumbing while attempting a rescue.

The Pengzhou emergency management bureau issued a statement confirming the fatalities. Four individuals died at the scene located in Lichun township, while three others succumbed in the hospital despite rescue efforts. An investigation into the accident's cause is ongoing.

An official spokesperson, speaking anonymously to on Sunday, detailed the events leading to the accident. The pig farm, recently acquired by a new owner, was undergoing preparatory work. The first victim, believed to be the new owner, fell into a septic tank while performing maintenance work when a wooden board gave way. In a heart-wrenching turn of events, subsequent victims included the owner's wife and her parents, who perished while attempting a rescue.

The spokesperson further informed about the initiation of a safety hazard inspection across similar facilities.

Biogas, a fuel commonly used in rural China, is generated through the decomposition of human and animal waste, crop stalks, and sewage. Primarily composed of methane and carbon dioxide, exposure to high concentrations can impede normal breathing and lead to fatalities.

Biogas poisoning incidents have occurred previously in China. In January 2022, six individuals died from biogas poisoning in Yuanmou, Yunnan province. Another tragic accident unfolded in Yongshan, Yunnan, in July 2023, where six people lost their lives after one person became trapped in a biogas tank and others attempted a rescue.

Emergency officials urge caution when entering spaces potentially containing biogas. Proper ventilation is crucial, and specialized breathing equipment is mandatory for any necessary rescue attempts.

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