Five Dalits, including two teenagers, died on Monday after inhaling toxic gas while trying to revive an unused well in Jind, reported The Times of India. The victims, all aged between 17 and 35, were residents of Nidana village in Haryana.

The region is among those facing an acute shortage of water. While residents buy drinking water, they have to find other means to locate water used for other needs. According to the English daily, 17-year-old Mohan was the first one to climb down the well, which was has not been in use for at least five years. Quoting a resident, the report said the group decided to take the extreme measure after tubewells in the area dried up. The well has water at the depth of around 15 feet.

When Mohan stopped responding, his uncle Dinesh went inside to look for him. But he also stopped responding after entering the well. The others climbed down to rescue them and died inside the well. The bodies were recovered after villagers released more water into the well from a nearby pond. According to government data, the district needs 115.30 million litres of water daily, but gets just 55.60.