Two people are dead and three others were injured after a woman dropped her mobile phone into a pit toilet in China's Henan Province. The woman's husband climbed into the cesspit to retrieve the lost device, but fainted from the stench, initiating a series of rescue attempts that ended in tragedy.
The South China Morning Post reports that the husband's mother entered the pit to save him, but also instantly lost consciousness. The owner of the phone herself then entered the pit, suffering the same fate.
Unbelievably, the woman's elderly father-in-law and two neighbors also became trapped inside the toilet during the rescue.
Other Xinxiang City residents worked together using ropes to pull six people out of the knee-deep waste. They were only inside the pit for 5 minutes, but the husband and his mother died at the hospital after waiting more than an hour for medical services to arrive. The man left behind a 1-year-old son.
A hospital doctor said the cause of death was suffocation.
The woman who dropped her phone is in intensive care, along with a neighbor. Her father-in-law was also injured.
None of the local reports mention the status of the phone, which the SCMP says was worth around $300.