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Tulum firemen sent in to recover bodies from septic tank

Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Q.R. — After the assisted recovery of four bodies from a septic area, firemen in Felipe Carrillo Puerto say they lack proper training and equipment. On Wednesday, Tulum firemen were asked for their assistance in recovering the bodies of four adult men who died from fume inhalation.

The four men died when they were exposed to gases while attempting to dig up a septic tank. The men were killed Tuesday in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, however, local recovery teams were unable to retrieve their bodies.

The Director of Felipe Carrillo Puerto Firefighters, Edgar Chan Suárez, said they lack both the training and equipment for that type of situation.

“We do not have the equipment suitable for these situations, so support from Tulum firefighters had to be requested since we also do have the necessary equipment to be able to carry out this type of maneuver,” he said.

“When we made the assessment, we were also not able to enter with the team we have,” he added referring to their lack of training.

Firemen from Tulum were called to the private home in Felipe Carrillo Puerto where the accident happened. According to Chan, it took five hours for them to remove the four men. He said they were found deep inside a very small area that was full of mud.

“It was somewhat complicated, but fortunately it was possible. It was approximately three meters down where the bodies were located and recovered,” he said.

The accident happened Tuesday afternoon when a man who was digging up his septic tank lost consciousness after inhaling toxic gases. Three others who came to help also suffered the same fate of falling unconscious and dying.

Tulum firemen arrived Wednesday with special suits, masks and equipment necessary to remove the four men. They have been identified by relatives as Eleazar N and Iran N, both brothers. The other two men, Carlos N and Miguel N, were also brothers.