Methane gas from a Virginia dairy farms manure pit overcame five people and killed them. The dead include four members of a Mennonite family. Apparently each of the five people died when they climbed into the manure pit one at a time in a desperate attempt to rescue the others.
The accident began on July 1 when the farmer tried to transfer manure from one small pit to a larger one. The pipe via which the manure was transferred became clogged and the farmer climbed into the pit to remove the blockage, when he became overcome by the deadly gas, starting a domino effect of other family members coming across the scene, climbing into the pit and dying.