4 Family Members Die in Freak Accident While Making Wine in Italian Village

A stock image of a wine barrels.
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Each family member died one by one as each member tried to rescue the other as they were overcome by toxic fumes.

Four men from the same family died in a freak accident when they were overcome by toxic fumes while producing wine on their family vineyard during an annual winemaking event, officials said.

Father and son, Santino, 70 and Massimo Carnevale, 45, and brothers Giacomo, 70, and Valerio Scofano, 50, died one after another as they each attempted to rescue each other during the unexpected tragedy. They died due to lack of sufficient air ventilation, according to Prosecutor Pierpaolo Bruni, who said an investigation is underway, The Telegraph reported.

When paramedics arrived they were unable to rescue any of the men, the news outlet reported.

The tragedy happened on Saturday in the hamlet of Paola located in the southern region of Calabria when the family gathered to transfer the fermented grape juice into oak barrels to be enjoyed in the years to come. One of the older men went down into the cellar to stir the wine and another man had called out for help but was later found dead near the exit of the cellar, according to a statement from the Carabinieri, Italy’s military force, according to a report.

It is not known which family member lost consciousness first. 

Paola Mayor Robert Perrotta said their tight-knit community was shaken with “enormous sorrow,” a report said.

A 36-year-old woman was the only person found alive. She had reportedly passed out near the entrance of the cellar, was resuscitated and was brought to a local hospital, where she is recovering.

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