One entrant and four would be rescuers have died following a confined space incident at a truck tank cleaning company in southern Italy.
The incident occurred on Monday 3 March 2008 when one man entered the truck tank for cleaning. It was reported the sulphur fumes had concentrated inside the tank and the man was overcome. One-by-one, four other people including the owner of the tank cleaning company went to assist. They were also overcome. A total of four people were pronounced dead on site, the fifth died a day latter in hospital.
The most common sulphur gases are hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide. Hydrogen sulphide has a rotten egg odour, while sulphur dioxide smells like burning matches, however smell should not be used as an indication of safety from these gases. A gas detector, fitted with a sensor for the target gas is the most common method of measuring gases. Beware that a hydrogen sulphide sensor generally does not measure sulphur dioxide (and vis versa).