An entire family lost their lives as each member attempt to rescue the other from the toxic fumes which finally won the battle.

Wine cellar
(Photo : Getty Images)

Toxic Fumes from Fermenting Wine

Officials said, four men from one family lost their lives in an unusual accident when the toxic fumes overpowered them while they were making wine on their family vineyard during a yearly winemaking event.

The four men - Giacomo, 70 and Valerio Scofano, 50, and also Santino, 70, and Massimo Carnevale, 45 - gave up the ghost one after another as each of them tried rescuing each other during the unfortunate incident.

The Telegraph reported that the men died as a result of lack of adequate air ventilation, as per Prosecutor Pierpaolo Bruni, who revealed an investigation is in progress.

When paramedics got to the scene they were not able to save any of the victims, the news outlet reported.

The unfortunate incident took place on Saturday in the hamlet of Paola situated in the southern area of Calabria when the men came together to move the fermented grape juice into oak barrels so it will be enjoyed in the future. One of the eldest men went down into the wine cellar so he could stir the wine.

Another man had cried for help but he was found dead close to the way out of the cellar after some time, as per a statement from Italy's military force, Carabinieri, as per a report.

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Carbon dioxide Poisoning

As per the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington, the fermentation process generates carbon dioxide gas. However, it is usually difficult to detect carbon dioxide gas since it is both colorless and odorless.

The department said on its website: "Excessive carbon dioxide in the air can cause headache, sweating, rapid breathing, increased heartbeat, shortness of breath, and dizziness. Higher levels of carbon dioxide can result in more serious and immediate effects including coma, asphyxia, convulsions, unconsciousness, and death." 

For carbon dioxide poisoning to be avoided during the fermentation process, the ventilation in the workspace should be sufficient. Individuals should make use of natural ventilation, which is opening windows and doors, as well as mechanical exhaust ventilation, the department recommended.

Also, individuals are urged to be mindful of the levels of carbon dioxide in workplaces and make comparisons with occupational exposure limits. 

Grapes at a winery
(Photo : Getty Images)

The Survivor

The daughter-in-law (36-year-old) of one of the victims was also discovered at the scene. The 36-year-old was found unconscious, but neighbors resuscitated and rushed her to a hospital close by to recover, the telegraph reported. People believed that she was also making attempt to help rescue her family members.

By all accounts, officials can't tell which family member lost consciousness first, but there is no suspicion of foul play.

The mayor of Paola, Roberto Perrotta, reportedly told local media that the unfortunate incident caused pain and enormous sorrow to the entire community.

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