Six Palestinians died after they drowned in an old cesspit in the village of Deir Al-Asal near Hebron in the occupied West Bank, reported Wafa news agency.
A father and his son were digging a septic pit near an old one which collapsed, leading to a sudden flood which drowned them both, witnesses in Deir Al-Asal said.
Three brothers who attempted to rescue the victims also died, along with another youth who tried to help.
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One of the victims, aged 15, was rushed to an Israeli hospital, but doctors were unable to save him.
According to the Times of Israel, Islam Abu Sheikha, an official in the Hebron Governorate’s Civil Defence, said: “We received a distress signal about a number of citizens falling into a cesspit. Immediately, civil defence teams moved to the scene, and worked to pull them out from inside the pit.”
Yazan Yusef Omar, director of Civil Defence in the Hebron Governorate, said: “It is too early to talk about the causes of the accident but according to a preliminary information, and it may be inaccurate, while a number of people dug a siphon hole next to a full pit, and as a result of drilling work, wastewater leaked from the old pit into the new pit; and a person who was inside the new pit drowned.”
He added others “apparently tried to save him, but failed” and drowned themselves.