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Two Vietnamese laborers found dead inside septic tank in Tainan

Two Vietnamese workers appear to have succumbed to hydrogen sulfide poisoning before falling into wastewater tank

Bodies of two foreign laborers found at the bottom of an effluent tank.

Bodies of two foreign laborers found at the bottom of an effluent tank. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The bodies of two Vietnamese workers were found inside an wastewater treatment tank in a recycling plant in Tainan City’s Guantian industrial zone yesterday morning (Oct. 5), reported CNA.

The Tainan City Fire Department received a call in the morning that the foreign workers were feared to have fallen into the wastewater treatment tank. When firefighters arrived on the scene, a pungent odor was evident and gas detection equipment registered the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas, which is very poisonous, corrosive, and flammable. After locating the two foreign workers, the firefighters confirmed that they were dead.

According to an initial investigation by the Police, after the two workers failed to appear at a scheduled health check, an inspection of the CCTV monitors showed the two foreign employees in the vicinity of the treatment tank at midnight before disappearing from view.

Firefighters at the scene pointed out that due to the detection of toxic gas, they would dispatch a team to first disperse the hazardous substance in the air before moving in to extract the deceased workers.


Liberty Times reports that the two foreign workers who perished in the wastewater tank were Vietnamese nationals, surnamed Tran (陳), 25, and Dinh (丁), 27, respectively. Both men were reported to have worked for Sunny Environmental Consultants, Ltd. for several years. (台南尚台南尚穩環保公司).

According to the report, Tran discovered a problem with an instrument in the treatment tank and decided to investigate and asked Dinh to assist him. Dinh discovered that Chen had fallen into the wastewater treatment tank and when he stuck his head in to check on Chen, he also fell inside.

The two were later discovered at 8:23 a.m. yesterday morning, both trapped inside the narrow tank and showing no signs of life. It is not yet clear why the men chose to try to repair the tank at such a late hour, and representatives of the plant told Liberty Times that it was not necessary enter the tank to make repairs.