Three people and a dog were tragically found dead in a cistern in a Texas corn field. They were attempting to rescue the dog when they encountered difficulties. Hydrogen sulfide gas and stagnant water hindered recovery efforts, and the unstable nature of the cistern complicated the retrieval process. Autopsies have been ordered to determine the cause of death. NNN reported
An unfortunate incident occurred in a corn field in Texas, where three individuals and a dog were tragically discovered dead inside a cistern. The victims have been identified as Delvys Garcia, aged 37, Denise Martinez, aged 26, and Noel Vigil-Benitez, aged 45. According to the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office, the group was engaged in a hunting activity with a fourth person when their dog accidentally fell into the cistern.
Authorities believe that one of the individuals descended into the cistern in an attempt to rescue the dog. However, encountering difficulties, two more individuals entered the cistern to provide assistance. Meanwhile, the fourth hunter hurriedly went to his truck to call emergency services for help.
Upon the arrival of deputies at around 1 a.m., they found the cistern partially filled with water. Despite the water level being significantly below the small opening of the cistern, noxious fumes resembling those of a septic tank were emanating from it. Unfortunately, when the first responders reached the scene, there were no signs of life from the dog or the three individuals inside.
Recovery efforts were hindered by the presence of the toxic fumes, identified as hydrogen sulfide gas, as well as the stagnant water in the cistern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that hydrogen sulfide gas can cause various health issues such as eye and respiratory system irritation, apnea, coma, convulsions, dizziness, headache, weakness, irritability, insomnia, and stomach upset.
The initial responders managed to ventilate the cistern and remove the water to facilitate the recovery operation. However, the unstable nature of the cistern posed additional challenges. While attempts were made to excavate around the structure, concerns regarding its stability led to the abandonment of the plan. There were fears that breaching the side walls could weaken the structure and compromise the safety of those involved.
To assess the structural integrity of the cistern, a small drone was deployed for inspection. Eventually, an investigator from the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office was lowered into the cistern on Wednesday night to retrieve the bodies.
The victims, Garcia, Martinez, and Vigil-Benitez, originally hailed from Florida. A local funeral home transported their bodies, along with the dog’s body, to the medical examiner’s office. Autopsies have been scheduled to determine the exact cause of death.
Aliza Chasan, a digital producer at 60 Minutes and CBS News, highlights the tragic incident and the challenging environment in which the recovery efforts took place.
– Three individuals and a dog were discovered dead inside a cistern in a Texas corn field.
– The victims encountered difficulties while attempting to rescue the dog.
– The recovery efforts were hindered by the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas and stagnant water.
– The unstable nature of the cistern complicated the retrieval process.
– Autopsies have been ordered to determine the cause of death.