Winemaker dies after falling into vat of Prosecco as he tried to rescue pal

A winemaker died after falling into a vat of prosecco in a desperate bid to save his colleague who had fallen ill inside the industrial tank.

Marco Bettolini leapt into the tank when he saw co-worker Alberto Pin had fainted at the bottom, but some reports stated he smacked his head during his daring rescue before falling to the bottom. Other reports state that just after Marco rescued Alberto, he was overcome by the same fumes and collapsed in the tank in Ca'di Rajo winery in the province of Treviso, in the Italian region Veneto last week.

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Mr Bettolini was reportedly found dead at the bottom of the tank, while Mr Pin was taken to hospital with serious injuries and placed in an induced coma.

Neither man, it emerged, had been wearing an oxygen tank and respirator at the time of the incident. Investigators believed Pin had entered the tank when he spotted a fault in one of the meters.

Chief Prosecutor Marco Martani said: "From the information gathered so far by the police, no one should have entered that vat, as maintenance work is entrusted to an external specialised company equipped with masks and systems that would have prevented the risk of intoxication."

Toxic fumes like carbon monoxide and nitrogen produced during winemaking can be deadly in enclosed spaces, especially when produced in large quantities. Wineries generally have necessary ventilation systems that allow the toxic air to escape and prevent any serious incidents.

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The winery's owner, Simone Cecchetto, expressed their condolences, adding: "We are devastated by grief; for us, they are like two brothers, two sons.

"My thoughts are only with these young men who grew up with us and their families. We pray that Alberto recovers as soon as possible."

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