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Man dies after fish sauce rescue

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HANOI (Reuters) - A Vietnamese man died and three of his co-workers nearly suffered the same fate after trying to rescue a colleague who fell into vat of fish sauce.

The state-run Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper said the accident happened Monday in southern beachside Phan Thiet town when a man at a fish sauce factory fell into a 2.2 meter (7.2 foot) sauce tank.

Four other workers, including the man's wife, who came to his aid also fell in, and all lost consciousness after inhaling the gas from the fish being fermented to make the sauce, the article said.

A doctor at the emergency unit at Binh Thuan provincial hospital told Reuters Tuesday one of the rescuers, a 34-year-old man, died after being taken to the hospital. The cause of death has not been established, he said.

"The fish sauce tank is very tall and the victims had been lying in the sauce for a while before being rushed here," said the doctor who declined to be identified. "When they came, the man (who died) was already in critical condition."

Phan Thiet, the capital town of Binh Thuan, lies 190 km (118 miles) northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. Besides being a center for fish sauce manufacturing, it is known for beachside resorts.

Fish sauce is ferociously pungent and commonly used in southeast Asia to spice up dishes.

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