Three brothers allegedly died of asphyxiation in an underground chamber at their house at Birikote village in Mohana block of Odishas Gajapati district late on May 22.
According to sources, the underground chamber was used as a storehouse by the family. At around 9 p.m., Bipra Majhi, 35, went inside to collect an item. When he did not come out for long, his younger brother Sanjib Majhi, 27, also went down to locate him. When both of them did not come out, the youngest brother Jitu Majhi went in.
Mr. Jitu shouted loudly for help. Their sister heard his cries and other family members managed to retrieve the three unconscious youth from the chamber. All of them were transported to Birikote Primary Health Centre (PHC) and later to Mohana Community Health Centre (CHC). The doctors at Mohana CHC declared them dead.
Police seized the bodies for autopsy. As per initial investigation, it is suspected that poisonous gases accumulated within the underground chamber could have been the reason for the asphyxiation of the brothers. The chamber did not have any other outlet except the top opening, which was always covered.