June 2, 2011 / 7:41 PM / in 8 years

Two teens die after trapped in backyard cesspool on Long Island

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two teenagers died on Thursday morning after getting trapped in a backyard cesspool at a friend’s home on Long Island, police said.

Eduardo Vanegas-Fuentes, 16, and Edgar Calderon-Castro, 19, were at the home on Wednesday evening when they decided to remove the concrete cover over the cesspool, not realizing what was underneath.

Vanegas-Fuentes lost his footing and fell into the cesspool, according to the police account. He quickly lost consciousness.

Calderon-Castro threw a hose into the cesspool and then jumped in to try and save Vanegas-Fuentes, who lived in Holtsville, New York, while the friend rushed inside to get his father to call 911. Calderon-Castro also passed out from the fumes.

A local fire crew rescued the two from the cesspool. They were taken to Stony Brook University Medical Center in critical condition.

Vanegas-Fuentes was pronounced dead on Thursday morning. His friend died a short time later. Suffolk County police said homicide detectives were still investigating the deaths.

Autopsies will be performed to determine the cause of death, although police suspect they were caused by the cesspool’s toxic fumes.

Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jerry Norton

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