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Woman, daughter die while trying to retrieve cell phone from manure pit

By Mason White 11:46 AM July 7, 2013
Family rescued from manure pit 

By: Debbi Gross
In a devastating freak accident, a mother and daughter died while trying to retrieve the daughter’s cell phone.

The mother and daughter died in Hebei Province in China after inhaling toxic fumes from a manure pit.

The incident occurred on a hot afternoon when Chen Haibing’s daughter collapsed in the manure pit after inhaling methane and ammonia as she tried to get her cell phone.

When Chen and his wife heard their daughter’s scream for help, they ran to help her. However, they also collapsed in the pit from the toxic fumes.

Zhang Tonghua, 64, found them lying motionless in the manure pit and shouted for help. The villagers tried to help. Yue Xinping jumped into the pit to pull them out, and several others helped in the rescue effort.

All three were taken to a hospital, but only Chen survived.

Animal manure pits are often needed in places where there are livestock. Manure storage poses a hazard to farm workers because of the dangerous toxins, and the possibility of drowning. Workers are aware of these hazards and use safe work practices, such as respiratory protection, and control access to the area, among other safety measures.