Winery worker, 60, dies after falling into vat of Rioja, as 61-year-old colleague also killed trying to save him

4 October 2023, 10:19 | Updated: 4 October 2023, 10:23

Lanciego, where the incident took place
Lanciego, where the incident took place. Picture: Twitter

By Kit Heren

Two winery workers have died in a freak incident involving a vat of Rioja, after one fell in and the other tried to save him.

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Gerardo Jubera, 60, and Felix Crespo, 61, died in the shocking incident on Sunday at the Crespo Zabala family winery, in Lanciego in the Basque country in northern Spain.

Jubera died after slipping into the vat during a check of the fermentation process in the winery's warehouse.

Crespo tried to pull Jubera out, but both men died after being overcome by toxic fumes, according to local media.

The town's mayor Itziar de Alava Martinez de Icaya said: "It's something we would all do to save a family member."

Read more: Grandad crushed to death by thousands of wheels of cheese as rescuers take 12 hours to find him

Read more: Pilot chopped off wingsuited skydiver's head with plane wing in freak aviation horror show

Lanciego is well known for its wine culture and has a grape harvest festival
Lanciego is well known for its wine culture and has a grape harvest festival. Picture: Alamy

She added that the two men's deaths have left locals "deeply shocked".

A 31-year-old man was also affected by the fumes and had to be taken to a nearby hospital.

Local health and safety investigators are looking into the two men's deaths.

Lanciego is well-known for its Rioja production and culture, and runs an annual grape harvest festival.

It comes just weeks after 2.2 million litres of red wine were spilled in Portugal when tanks gave way, creating a river of wine that flowed through the streets of a small town.

In August, an Italian pensioner was crushed to death by thousands of wheels of cheese that fell on top of him.

Giacomo Chiapparini, 74, was killed when a shelf broke in his warehouse in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, sending a torrent of Grana Padano blocks tumbling onto him.

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