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Student Dies in Winery Accident

Fermenting grape juice emits large amounts of carbon dioxide
© AFP | Fermenting grape juice emits large amounts of carbon dioxide
Death caused by poisoning.

A 22-year old student from northern France has died after falling in a wine tank and suffering carbon dioxide poisoning.

The accident occurred late on Saturday evening at a winery in the Charente region, best known for producing Cognac.

The man was a member of a brass band playing at a wine festival at the winery, around 30 kilometers from the town of Angouleme.

Around 11.15pm, a violent storm forced the group to take refuge in a winery building. The victim was hoisted on top of a wine tank and several minutes later, “at the end of two or three songs” according to a source, his friends realized he had disappeared.

They eventually found him unconscious, lying in 50 centimeters of fermenting grape juice, which naturally emits large amounts of carbon dioxide.

The young man was taken to hospital and placed in a coma but could not be saved.

This is the second reported winery death this month. In Spain, a 43-year-old winery worker died after 5,000 kilograms of grapes fell on top of him. It is not clear how he ended up in the hopper but was trapped underneath five tons of grapes and suffocated.

Firefighters were called to the winery and had to remove the grapes to pull the man from the hopper. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to reports in the Spanish media, a winery in the town of Tomelloso (Ciudad Real) had hired the man on a casual basis to assist with the busy harvest season.

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