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Italian winemaker dies trying to rescue colleague

A Treviso winemaker has died after attempting to save a colleague who had fainted in a wine vat, according to reports.

Vigili del Fuoco/Twitter

The news from CNN claims the fire brigade responded to an emergency last Thursday (14 September) at the Ca’di Rajo winery in San Polo di Piave, Italy.

A man in his forties died after trying to save a colleague who had passed out from carbon dioxide fumes during maintenance work in a processing tank, it said.

The tank had been emptied of wine for bottling, but fumes from the fermentation process remained, impacting the health of the two men, neither of whom were wearing breathing equipment or safety harnesses, according to the fire brigade.

Marco Bettolini was reaching for his colleague Alberto Pin when he was lost his footing after being overcome with dizziness caused by the fumes. It is believed Pin entered the vat at the winery after noticing the taps were malfunctioning.

Bettolini followed him as both men then became intoxicated with the fumes. Bettolini then fell and injured himself, according to local paper Tribuna di Treviso, before Pin was taken to a hospital.

A statement from the winery owner Simone Cecchetto which was provided to CNN said it was a “huge tragedy”: “We are overwhelmed by pain, for us they are two brothers, two sons. My thoughts go to these two men, who grew up with us, and their families.

It follows calls for more action on safety in Italy, following a number of incidents in the workplace, including one in which a man died when cheese rounds fell on him earlier this summer.

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