Society

Seven People Die Trying To Retrieve 75-Cents From Well

| by Emily Smith

Seven people died in a 16-foot well in Cambodia while trying to retrieve 75 cents.

Tuy Chin had gone to collect water from the well in the Romchek commune when he dropped 3,000 riel, or 75 cents, into the well along with his cigarette lighter. He placed a ladder in the well to retrieve both items, but only managed to find the lighter. When he returned home, he told his children about the lost money, though he did not expect that they would try to find it.

Later that day, Chin's 11-year-old son climbed into the well and died of low oxygen levels. Chin's 13-year-old and 15-year-old daughters followed, then died as well. When Chin's neighbors heard about the lost money, they climbed into the well and also died. One neighbor survived, but is in critical condition. 

According to scientists, when oxygen levels fall between 4 and 6 percent a human lapses into a coma in less than 40 seconds. Because Chin lowered himself into the well during the day, and not during the evening when oxygen levels are lower, he survived. However, the others descended into the well during the evening.

Che Chhan, a sister of the siblings that died in the well, said the family's poverty was to blame for the tragedy. 

"I wanted to blame my father, because if he did not tell them about the money, they would not have died," Chhan said. "They would not come back if I blamed my father...but the villagers blame my father and say he was careless."

The remaining memebers of the Chin family plan to destroy the well.

Sources: News AU, Mirror