THE HAGUE – Three farmworkers died on Wednesday after falling into a manure silo on a farm in the northern Netherlands, police said.
“Three men died and a fourth has been taken to a hospital in a critical condition,” police spokesman Paul Heidanus said.
All four men worked on the farm, police said.
The silo is around 10 meters high and was almost empty at the time, police said. “There was practically no manure in the silo, just a few centimeters,” Heidanus said.
The Leeuwarder Courant, a local newspaper, said on its website that one of the men had gone into the silo to clean it. He was wearing a gas mask but felt unwell, and the other three men tried to help him, it said.
Manure silos emit a number of potentially dangerous gases, including hydrogen sulfide, which can cause asphyxiation or unconsciousness.