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Terrible 'accident' in Italy

I was reading about the possibility of this in The Story of Wine on Sunday evening. Poor family.

Scant consolation but CO2 is better than the farming equivalent

@Brocklehurstj I find this incredible to understand. I can’t remember the number of times I have been warned about the danger of this when visiting vineyards, hoping to photograph the fermentation. How on earth did they not realise until it was too late?

Probably always done it like that and been lucky. When you see a family member or friend in distress it’s hard to think about much else than trying to help them.

Maybe just in wineries with risk assessments

Unfortunately that’s all too true. I spent many years working in ‘confined spaces’ where low oxygen levels were a possibility. Everything we did was risk assessed with gas detectors, emergency breathing apparatus, harnesses, hoists being just some of the tools employed to ensure our safety. To a casual observer some of those spaces would have appeared safe enough to work in without taking any precautions but they weren’t.

Even relatively shallow valve pits open to atmosphere have been responsible for multiple fatalities due to a build up of methane, which is heavier than air, displacing breathable oxygen. In this tragic instance carbon dioxide would have done the same.

When training to work in such environments it was drummed into us that low oxygen levels affect the brain and body instantly and that by the time you’ve realised you’re in trouble it’s too late to do anything about it.


Unfortunately this is not a freak. Happens at least once a vintage.

CO2 is terrible stuff. Its not like sticking your head underwater where you can hold your breath - one sniff feels like a hard punch, you quickly lose consciousness and when you fall you are completely covered by the layer of heavier than air CO2; death quickly follows.


only needs quite small quantity of CO2 to displace the O2 in the air - add in panic of seeing a loved one succumbing to something , all sense goes out of the window

very sad