Two die trying to rescue cellphone from an open-pit toilet in China

Two die trying to rescue cellphone from an open-pit toilet in China
This seems like one of those stories that is impossible to believe. But according to the South China Morning Post, a woman in Xinxiang city, Henan, China, was answering nature's call using an open-pit toilet, when her brand new phone fell in. The device cost 2,000 yuan ($320 USD), which meant that it wasn't going to be lost in the sewage without a fight.

First, the woman's husband jumped into the cesspool in an effort to save the phone, but he was overcome by fumes and lost consciousness. Next, the husband's mom jumped in and she too passed out from the stench. The woman whose phone fell in the open-pit toilet was next, and she suffered the same fate. The father-in-law called two neighbors who both fainted inside the cesspool.

Finally a rope was discovered and six people were pulled out of the pit. The husband and the mother-in-law perished. The woman and a neighbor remain in intensive care.

According to a doctor, the two that died were suffocated. The victims were in the pit, filled with waste up to their knees, for five minutes. According to witnesses, both of the deceased had a pulse when rescued from the cesspool, but it took an hour for an ambulance to arrive. The moral of the story? Hold on to your phone as tightly as possible.

source: SouthChinaMorningPost via CNET



1. Blazers

Posts: 734; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

That's another "what were they thinking" moment, just like the Canadian/American couple that were visiting war torn Afghanistan for "vacation".

14. 3rdDegree

Posts: 218; Member since: Jul 13, 2013

I would like to say sh*t happens but it's actually not funny.

24. mrblah

Posts: 577; Member since: Jan 22, 2013

ya, not funny, but you said anyway. too bad it wasn't your sh*tty family.

27. steedsofwar unregistered

I mean, what is an open pit loo? That looks like doing number two in public.

2. rocko0011

Posts: 34; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

Over a phone? Never!


Posts: 399; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

Is a cellphone more valuable than a life? Disgrace......... Absolutely disgusting........ I don't care which country this.

18. dsDoan

Posts: 235; Member since: Dec 28, 2011

This wasn't exactly a death-defying action. I'm surprised deaths occurred.

26. steedsofwar unregistered

I don't normally upvote your comments but I totally agree on this one. Whatever the country, a phone isn't worth swimming in poo for, let alone dying for it.

3. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

What a tragedy on so many levels.

4. skyline88

Posts: 697; Member since: Jul 15, 2013

China, where nothing is impossible.

6. imparanoic

Posts: 88; Member since: Oct 15, 2012

have you seen a china typical toilet, it's just a hole, anything can drop in there

19. RandomUsername

Posts: 808; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

I think this is a case for the World Toilet Association!

7. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

We have a saying in my country: An insane(stupid) person throws a rock in a well, a hundred sane people can't get it out...

8. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

I hope this doesn't come off as insulting, but I think the reason they tried so hard to recover the phone is maybe it was a low wage type of situation. Yes, it's just a phone, but maybe for them that cost was a lot and they didn't want to lose it without a fight not knowing how powerful the fumes would be that it would make them pass out.

11. KillgoreTroutTime

Posts: 433; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

How was that moron

21. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

he's being polite you're insulting stfu !

9. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

It might have taken me lots of sacrifices to get me an m8. But I would never choose to risk my life over it. Come on people, phones are non living things and you shouldn't risk as going as far as that to save your precious item. Condolences for the two members of the family that just passed away.

10. eggimage

Posts: 83; Member since: Jan 19, 2012

to those mocking and judging, first, be thankful that you're wealthy and educated enough to not have to even consider risking your life over something that's only worth a few hundred bucks, and then, shut the hell up. this isn't funny. the family is suffering a great loss, and it's not even clear whether they'll be able to afford such medical expenses (possibly not)

12. KillgoreTroutTime

Posts: 433; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

I wouldn't jump into a hole filled with sht for a brief case filled with a million bucks...

20. RandomUsername

Posts: 808; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

They can afford a smartphone but not a proper toilet???

13. jerrycutshaw

Posts: 48; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

I agree with another poster. This $320 to us was probably worth multiple thousands of dollars to them due to the depressed wages in China. That said if I heard my $2000 (wage adjusted) phone go kerplunk in a porta potty there is NO WAY I could ever hold it up to my head again!

15. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Stupid people.

16. MarioG

Posts: 21; Member since: Jun 02, 2014


17. Awalker

Posts: 1973; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

22. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

to be fair, while this happened over a phone, there are incidents all over the world where farmers have forgotten to air out waste tanks on farms and climbed into them, its very easy to forget that there is practically no oxygen in those things the moment there is any waste in them, no oxygen, no breathing, no living human.

23. iMemo

Posts: 113; Member since: Feb 22, 2014

They probably didn't know how dangerous the sh!t was.

25. techloverNYC

Posts: 601; Member since: Nov 20, 2012

1 question is will the phone function when it is recover from the sh*t? Like Im pretty sure with all that sh*t drowning the phone, it will not work even if they manage to find it. Even if you manage to recover it, how will you clean it (piece by pieces?). Im chinese myself and I know times are tough in those villages, but this is pointless. Don't wanna sound cold but regardless the phones broken.

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