Three people were injured and a man and his mother suffocated to death in a cesspool in China over the weekend while trying to retrieve a cell phone that the man’s wife had dropped into the pit of human waste.

The South China Morning Post reported that the man’s wife had just gotten an expensive, new cell phone and it fell into the pit in Henan, China. The man went in after it but lost consciousness due to the fumes. In an attempt to save the man, he was followed into the cesspool first by his mother, then by his wife, and then by his father. Two neighbors also jumped in to help. All five hopeful saviors were overwhelmed and lost consciousness in the knee-deep waste.

Other villagers were able to find rope, tie it to rescuers, and take turns pulling the six people from the pit. The report said all of the victims were alive when they made it out, but an ambulance did not arrive for an hour. The man and his mother died at the hospital, his wife and one of the neighbors remained in intensive care. His father was also injured.

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(H/T New York Daily News)