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Woman drops cell phone in toilet, two die in rescue attempt

In China, a woman's husband and her mother-in-law are overcome by the stench of a cesspit, all because a brand-new phone was feared lost.

Xinxiang City, where the tragedy occurred. Goorney/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

"It's only a phone," is an argument that is constantly lost on those who fear they've lost their phones.

In the latest tragic incident, a woman in Xinxiang city, Henan, China dropped her phone when she went to an open-pit toilet.

It fell into a cesspit.

The phone was brand new. As the South China Morning Post reports, it cost 2,000 yuan (around $320).

First her husband jumped in. He was overcome by the fumes. His mother also jumped in. When she encountered breathing difficulties, the woman's whose phone it was jumped in too.

The waste was reportedly only knee-deep. However, despite rescue attempts by neighbors, both the woman's husband and his mother died.

The tragedy unfolded in five minutes.

This isn't the first fatality associated with attempting to retrieve a cell phone.

This time last year, a 22-year-old man jumped onto the subway tracks in the Bronx to rescue the phone he'd dropped, only to be struck by a train and killed.

In this latest Chinese case, the cause of death was said to be suffocation.