Children oftentimes learn about the buddy system. You are assigned a buddy and it is your responsibility to make sure that your buddy is safely where they’re supposed to be and they do the same for you. Sadly, in a new story coming out of Madhya Pradesh state in India, a man failed to follow the buddy system with his wife and ended up being buried alive.

Buddy System

The man has been identified as 45-year-old Latori Barman, a laborer from the town of Khadra. Barman spent his final evening at a local village fair, enjoying the entertainment with a number of friends and co-workers. Also in the group that night was his wife, who left the fair early and stayed at her parents’ home after having a fight with her husband. After leaving the festivities early himself, Barman began the walk home, stopping at a liquor store along the way for some whiskey. Shortly after, the details are uncertain.

Road construction site

What appears to have happened is that Barman fell into an open hole at a road construction site between the villages of Udlana and Hata. Road work has been underway for the last two months in that region and in the particular area where Barman found himself, the hole was half the width of the road. There were no markers, flags, cones, or other indicators of the dangerous zone. These failures on the part of the construction crew, in addition to it being dark, led the man to fall into the chasm where he struck his head on a rock and was knocked unconscious.


The following morning, when the construction crew began the next part of road paving, the man in charge of the molten tar failed to check the hole before filling it in. The unconscious Latori suffered third degree burns as he was buried alive. The process was made even worse when a road roller came by to flatten the newly tarred area. By this point, Barman was already dead, but the road roller compressed the tar in such a manner that one of the man’s arms, along with part of his t-shirt, protruded from the road.

A road roller in action

Shockingly, it was not the construction crew that noticed an arm and shirt sticking out of the newly paved road. Rather, after Barman’s wife returned home the morning after the village fair and noticed he was missing, she alerted neighbors of his absence and they began searching for him. They eventually traced his path from the previous night and noticed the limb sticking out of the newly paved road. They dug up his body and it was taken for an autopsy.

Barman's partially unburied body

Villager outcry toward the construction crew was loud and swift. Protesters blocked traffic on the road and two construction workers were eventually arrested and charged with negligence leading to death. While Latori’s wife and two sons await the outcome of that case, civil authorities have already promised that Barman’s widow will be compensated $761 for the tragedy. That is a paltry amount for a man’s live, but even worse so when you consider that he was buried alive before meeting his untimely death.

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Steve Pame

Steve Pame

A part-time graduate student and high school teacher, Steve enjoys just about anything that makes him forget all the student loans he'll never be able to pay back. He enjoys visiting his extended family, spread throughout the world, whenever he has a chance.