Bastrop County, TX – On August 9, three people and a dog died after getting trapped in a cistern in a Texas cornfield. According to the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office, around 1:00 p.m. deputies responded to a report that three persons were trapped in a hole in the ground in the 300 block of New Trails, which was a cornfield in northern Bastrop County
The sheriff’s office said that the individuals were part of a hunting party consisting of three men and one woman who “ended up on foot in a cornfield when one of their dogs fell into the cistern.”
In a news release about the tragic incident, the authorities explain that it appears that one member of the hunting party entered the cistern in an attempt to rescue the dog; the other two hunters entered the cistern to help save the first person and the dog. The remaining person went to his truck to call 9-1-1.
The authorities said:
The water level of the cistern was far below the small opening of the cistern, which was at ground level, preventing anyone from escaping from the cistern, resulting in the deaths of 2 males and one female. All 3 of the decedents were Florida residents
The authorities describe the scene that first responders encountered upon their arrival:
First Responders found what appeared to be an underground cistern that was partially filled with water. There were strong fumes, similar to those of a septic tank, coming from the cistern. First Responders observed no signs of life.
First responders were not able to immediately enter the cistern because of fumes, stagnant water, and instability of the structure. The authorities said that the fumes and water were removed from the cistern, the air was stabilized, and a drone was sent in to determine the stability of the structure.
After it was determined to be safe, someone was lowered into the cistern to make the recovery. All of the bodies, including that of the dog, were removed and taken to the medical examiner’s office. An autopsy will be completed to confirm the cause of death.
The victims are identified as:
Delvys Garcia, 37
Denise Martinez, 26
Noel Vigil-Benitez, 45
(Images via Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office and Pixabay)
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