Man's body trapped down 45m well for a week after fatal snake bite: report

2018-11-20 10:33
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A Zimbabwe man's body has been trapped at the bottom of a deep well for nearly a week after he was fatally bitten by a snake and rescuers were too afraid to retrieve his corpse, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Twenty-five-old Sandile Mguni was part of a team of well diggers hired to repair a 45m-deep well in Makhekhe Village in the country’s arid north-western Lupane district, reports the state-run Chronicle

He and his team noticed a snake at the bottom of the well before they started work, and poured a drum of boiling water down the well to try to kill the reptile. Mguni later descended the well via a rope, armed with a spear and a bucket, the paper said.

'A hissing sound'

"As his colleagues were lowering him down, they heard a hissing sound and Mguni suddenly called out that he had been bitten. They pulled back the rope but only an empty bucket came up," Matabeleland North police spokesperson Siphiwe Makonese told the Chronicle.

The paper said after the tragedy was reported to the police, wildlife rangers, mining experts, members of the sub-aqua unit of the Civil Protection Unit and the Bulawayo City fire brigade had all failed to retrieve Mguni’s body.

Snake handlers from Bulawayo have now been enlisted to try to help, the Chronicle said.

Fatal snake bites in Zimbabwe are occasionally reported in the country’s press, especially during the wet summer months.

Nearly 2 000 people were bitten by snakes and 13 deaths were recorded by the ministry of health in the first three months of 2018, the Daily News reported in April.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa
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