A pensioner died after plunging down a 130-ft hole he dug under his kitchen floor after dreaming he had gold buried under it.
Joao Pimenta da Silva, 71, plunged down the shaft he had excavated after losing his balance from a swing seat at his home in Brazil.
Neighbours said the pensioner had become obsessed with the idea there was gold buried in the area under the property in the municipality of Ipatinga in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais he was trying to reach.
Arnaldo da Silva told local media: ‘Joao had spent more than a year digging the hole and hired many people to do the excavating work.
“He began by paying 70 Brazilian Reais (£11.30) a day when the hole was still shallow but the deeper he went the more the costs went up.
‘He ended up paying around (£80) to anyone who entered the hole and helped to remove earth. He had hit a large stone that appeared which was difficult to remove and there were rumours he had been talking about trying to get hold of dynamite.’
The neighbour said Joao claimed to have been told by a ‘spirit’ in a dream there was gold under the rock below his kitchen floor and he tried to warn him of the dangers of his mission but was ignored.
The tragedy that led to the gold digger’s death occurred on January 5.