Vietnam police say 6 killed after falling into fish-oil tank drowned

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 Six people suffocated to death in one of these tanks of fish oil at a factory in the Mekong Delta Province of Dong Thap on September 4

Police in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap concluded that six men who died after falling into a tank of fish oil at a factory last Wednesday drowned to death.

The media had speculated that they had been killed by toxic gas.

Speaking to the media, Ho Manh Dung, director of the Tourism and Fisheries Company (TRISEDCO), said one worker had fallen into the tank and four of his colleagues and their manager had jumped in to rescue him.

On Wednesday, Tran Tan Loi, 27, Lam Thanh Phong, 35, and Trieu Ba Tra, 39, were assigned to take samples from a six-meter tank for tests, online newspaper Dan Tri said.

But there were only about two meters of fish oil level at that time, and their rope and steel tube could not reach it.

Instead of adding more rope, Phong climbed down a staircase inside the tank, suffocated due to lack of air, and fell in.

Loi and Tra cried for help before climbing into the tank to rescue their colleague, but they suffocated too.

Le Dinh Thai, 27, and Le Xuan Thuan, 20, who were working nearby, heard their cries and also fell in after trying to save them. 

Manager Mai Huu Ton, who was at a meeting and rushed to the spot to try and rescue his men after being informed of the accident, followed them into the oil.

The newspaper said another worker, Dang Van An, 26, climbed down the staircase but, after having difficulty breathing, climbed out and promptly lost consciousness. He was rushed to hospital.

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A team of rescuers released the oil from the tank and found the body of the six victims.

The factory began trial operations just a month ago, and construction is still going on, Dan Tri reported, adding that oil sampling is done every week.

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