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7 Cambodians die in well rescue attempt tragedy

PHNOM PENH--Seven people including four children died in a well in Cambodia after trying to rescue an 11-year-old boy who had climbed in to retrieve the equivalent of 75 cents, police said Monday.

The tragedy, which took place in a remote area of Siem Reap province on Saturday, unfolded after a 50-year-old man dropped 3,000 riel (75 U.S. cents) into the five-meter-deep well.

The man climbed into the well using a ladder, fishing out his cigarette lighter but failing to find the money.

β€œHe did not take the ladder out of the well, and in the evening his 11-year-old son climbed down to search for the money, but he passed out because of a lack of oxygen at the bottom of the well,” police official Muy Norn told AFP.

Two of the boy's elder siblings β€” aged 13 and 15 β€” and another 12-year-old relative then climbed down to help the stricken boy but also passed out.

Three adult neighbors then died in a desperate attempt to rescue the children, Muy Norn said, adding police later pulled the bodies from the well.

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