Six men died in an under-construction septic tank in Deoghar district of Jharkhand on Sunday, the Hindustan Times reported. The incident took place at Devipur market area.

The deceased have been identified as Brajesh Chandra Burnwal, 50, Mithilesh Chandra Burnwal, 40, Govind Manjhi, 50, Bablu Manjhi, 30, Lalu Manjhi, 25, and Leelu Murmu, 30. Brajesh Chandra Burwal had constructed the septic tank, which was 20 feet deep and seven feet wide.

“All the six people were rushed to the Sadar Hospital but they were declared brought dead by doctors,” Deoghar Deputy Commissioner of Police Kamleshwar Prasad Singh said. “Prima facie, it seems that they died of suffocation due to possible accumulation of lethal gases such as carbon dioxide or monoxide in the septic tank.”

Murmu entered the septic chamber first on Sunday, intending to remove centering materials from inside the tank, the Burnwal brothers’ neighbour Manish Kumar said. “However, neither any sound of removing centering material was coming nor he was replying to anything,” Kumar said. “To check on the labourer, the contractor of the septic tank, Govind Manjhi, entered the tank but he also did not come out. One by one, Govind’s two sons Bablu and Lalu went inside the tank but they also did not come up.”

Kumar said that following this, Brajesh Chandra Burnwal entered the tank, and did not emerge. Mithilesh Chandra Burnwal, who went into the tank last to look for the missing persons, also met their fate, Kumar said.

Devipur Circle Officer Sunil Kumar said that when local residents broke open the tank, all six men were found unconscious. “They were immediately rushed to Sadar hospital where they were declared brought dead,” he said.

Sunil Kumar said that the bodies have been sent for autopsy, and the reason for their deaths will be apparent only when the results arrive. He added that 10 kg of foodgrain will be given to the families of the victims.