Three hog hunters from Florida tragically died in an underground tank in Texas while trying to rescue their dog. The hunters, along with the dog, were found in a cistern filled with water and hydrogen sulfide gas. The bodies were discovered in a cornfield on the outskirts of Austin. The victims were identified as Delvys Garcia, Denise Martinez, and Noel Vigil-Benitez. The incident occurred when one of the hunters went into the cistern to save the dog, followed by the other two. Efforts to recover the bodies were complicated by the presence of toxic gas and concerns about the structure’s stability. Paul J. Weber,Associated Press reported
In Austin, Texas, a tragic incident occurred where three hog hunters from Florida lost their lives in a subterranean tank filled with noxious sewer gas. The unfortunate chain of events unfolded when one of the hunters bravely attempted to rescue their dog, who had fallen into the hole. The other two hunters, driven by their instinct to save their companion, followed suit and jumped into the perilous tank.
The bodies of two men and a woman, along with the dog, were eventually recovered from the tank, which was located in a cornfield on the outskirts of Austin. Bastrop County Sheriff Maurice Cook revealed that the hole in question was actually a cistern, measuring approximately 4 feet wide, and it contained 8 feet of water, intermingled with hazardous hydrogen sulfide gas.
Authorities believe that the sequence of events commenced in the early hours of Wednesday when one of the hunters ventured into the cistern to rescue their bloodhound. Evidently, the clothing and boots belonging to the other two hunters were found near the hole, indicating that they too had shed their attire before plunging into the dangerous depths, as per Sheriff Cook.
Tragically, it is believed that the hunters succumbed to the toxic hydrogen sulfide gas present in the cistern, causing them to sink to the bottom of the tank. Sheriff Cook lamented the absence of any protective covering, emphasizing that the hole was simply an exposed opening amidst the cornfield.
The victims have been identified as Delvys Garcia, aged 37, Denise Martinez, aged 26, and Noel Vigil-Benitez, aged 45. All three were residents of Florida.
Furthermore, Sheriff Cook highlighted that the cistern contained a “high level” of hydrogen sulfide, emphasizing that stagnant water and the decomposition of other deceased animals within the tank could produce lethal concentrations of the gas.
Interestingly, a fourth member of the hunting party, hailing from Texas, refrained from entering the treacherous hole. This individual informed authorities that the dog had escaped from their truck, prompting them to utilize a tracking device attached to the canine’s collar.
The recovery efforts of the bodies were impeded by concerns from dive teams regarding both the gas and the structural stability of the cistern’s walls. The tank emitted strong fumes akin to those emanating from a septic tank, as conveyed in a statement by the sheriff’s office..