2 die of asphyxiation in Vietnam paper plant

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Authorities in the southern province of Binh Duong are investigating the death of two people on August 14 due to suspected asphyxiation while cleaning a storage tank in a paper factory last week.

Three others who passed out are in hospital and have not regained consciousness.

The provincial Department of Labors, War Invalids and Social Affairs told Thanh Nien that the tragedy occurred at the Hung Thinh Paper Company in Tan Uyen District when Ngo Van Nong, 37, Le Dinh Thinh, 36, and Huynh Van Tam, 22, were assigned to clean a 3.2-meter-high tank.

Seconds after entering it, Nong and Tam passed out, and Thinh, who was standing outside, shouted for help.

Three others, Vo Van Tai, Le Van Manh, and Nguyen Van Duc, rushed to the spot and all four entered the tank to rescue their colleagues. 

Thinh, Manh, and Tai fell unconscious, and Duc called for help. His bosses then informed the fire department who came and rescued the victims.

Tai succumbed at a local hospital later that day, while the rest were transferred to Ho Chi Minh City's Cho Ray Hospital, where Nong died Sunday.

Dr Pham Hong Truong, chief of the hospital's emergency department, denied that the victims had inhaled some toxic gas. Tests showed that they had suffered a lack of oxygen to the brain, he added.

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