THE 57-year-old Lazarus Shilongo is believed to have drowned in a well after he was overcome by the exhaust gas of a generator while working down the deep hole at the Ovenduka cattle post in the Uuvidhiya constituency.
A second man almost lost his life while attempting to rescue his friend who fell down the deep hole while they were watering their cattle.
Omusati Regional Police Commander, Commissioner Titus Shikongo, confirmed the tragic incident and said it occurred around 15:00 on Thursday.
According to Shikongo, the deceased went into the well to start a power generator that is fixed to a stepladder inside the well. The generator is used to power a pump that brings water to the surface.
“The deceased person insisted on staying down in the well while the generator ran to ensure that that it would keep supplying power to the pump. While he was down the well he was overcome by the carbon monoxide gas where he fell from the ladders and into the water deeper down,” he said.
He pointed out that the deceased was with two other men, who went to the well to water their cattle.
“Attempts to retrieve the body of the deceased person by the other men proved futile because the bottom of the well was still contaminated with the carbon monoxide that overcame their fiend,” he said.
He said that the deceased person’s body was only retrieved from the well on Friday afternoon divers from the Namibian Police based in Oshakati were called to the scene of the tragedy.
According to Shikongo a second man, who attempted to rescue his friend also collapsed inside the well and had to be helped to the surface.
“The man that survived the rescue attempt was rushed to Onkani clinic, but due to the seriousness of his condition had to be transferred to the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital where emergency medical treatment stabilised his condition,” said Shikongo.
Commissioner Shikongo added that no foul play is suspected and the deceased body was transported to Okahao police mortuary for purposes of a postmortem examination.