A man, his mother and their neighbor died on Saturday afternoon after the three descended a well in Kratie province in an attempt to rescue the family’s pet dog, local officials said Sunday.
The dog’s owner, Say Phalla, 25, lowered himself into the 9-meter-deep well in Prek Prasap district’s Chroy Banteay commune after his pet fell in, according to commune police chief Pech Ngon Srin.
“After he knew his dog fell into the well, he hurried to go into the well by using the well-rope to rescue his beloved dog, but he disappeared into the water of the well,” Mr. Ngon Srin said.
After family and neighbors standing near the well lost verbal contact with Say Phalla, his mother, Van Soy, 64, panicked and tried to enter the well and rescue her son.
“No one near the well was allowing her to go into the well, but she was insistent to go into the well using a rope to rescue her son,” Mr. Ngon Srin said.
“When she reached into the well, she leaned on the walls of the well until her body was covered with water from her shoulders to her toes, and three minutes later she could not be seen in the water of the well.”
A neighbor, Sruon Chhum, 38, then lowered himself into the well on a rope in an attempt to rescue the pair, but slipped and fell, Mr. Ngon Srin said. Another neighbor, Chhon Sak, lost consciousness when attempting a rescue, but was pulled to safety.
At about 5 p.m., authorities arrived to drain the well, but at that point there was little hope that any of the three were still alive.
“There was no oxygen and no air in that well,” said commune police chief Seng Sophorn.
“After pumping out the water from that well, the dead bodies were found in order, with the dog on the bottom.”
In June, seven people died in Siem Reap province after attempting to rescue a child who went into an oxygen-deprived well to retrieve 3,000 riel.
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