Three die in NSW water tank

Cheryl Sanders
February 17, 2017

Three people have died in an in-ground concrete tank in rural NSW, after a man working in the tank collapsed and died and two people coming to rescue him also perished.

Police said a 69-year-old man was using a high-pressure water pump to clean inside the tank yesterday evening on his property in Gunning, near Yass, when he collapsed.

All three victims are believed to be aged in their 60s.

They are believed to have been poisoned by carbon monoxide gas that built up in the tank as the water pump was used.


Local police commander acting superintendent Andrew Koutsoufis said high levels of poisonous gas were in the water tank when police arrived and it appears to be a tragic accident.

"They all did a wonderful job in response to a really nasty incident", Supt Koutsoufis said.

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths but say they are not being treated as suspicious.

"I personally will miss both of them enormously". "They were lovely people", said one neighbour who did not wish to be named.


Emergency services were called to the property by a neighbour about 6.20pm after reports of the trio collapsing in the empty groundwater tank.

Emergency services personnel retrieved the bodies from the tank near the front of the property just after 9pm.

The Veterans Road property was declared a crime scene and examined by forensic officers overnight.


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