Four family members dead after tragic winemaking accident in cellar

An Italian village, located in the province of Cosenza, is in turmoil after a bizarre accident that killed four men from the same family. That‘s what Italian media reports.

The family had gathered last Saturday to bring their home-made wine to the barrels so they could drink it all year round. But something that was meant to lead to delight ended in drama. Because the men inhaled toxic gases from the barrel, it went completely wrong.

One of the men went into the basement to stir the wine. He fell into the tank, after which his family members tried to take him out. When the other men arrived in the basement, they fell immediately on the ground. They all died right after each other. The men have never been able to taste their homemade wine.

The victims are Valerio Scofano (50), his brother Giacomo (70), his brother-in-law Santino Carnevale (70) and Carnevale’s son: Massimo (40).


The 36-year-old daughter-in-law did survive the incident. According to the police report, she passed out at the basement entrance. The woman was resuscitated by one of the neighbors and taken to a local hospital.

The police report shows that the father, son and brothers died due to inadequate ventilation. The district attorney, Pierpaolo Bruni, says the room was not sufficiently ventilated for the large amount of carbon dioxide released during the fermentation process. It is still unclear who lost consciousness first.


During the wine fermentation process, carbon dioxide vapors are released. If this concentration is so high, it causes a room to lack oxygen. This allows people without any presymptoms to pass out within one minute. Soon, brain injury will also result and death can occur within minutes unless resuscitation takes place directly.