A small underground cellar in a Broken Hill yard where a father and his two sons were fatally overcome by toxic fumes remains too dangerous for police to access.
Layne Harvey, 44, and his sons Jakeb, 23, and Kurtis, 16, were taken to Broken Hill Hospital on Thursday afternoon but they died soon after.
It is believed they were overcome by carbon monoxide while working with a generator in a confined space beneath a shed in the yard of the family property.
A specialist team from NSW Police Rescue was flown into the area and spent the day ventilating the space and making the access hole larger.
Police said air testing confirmed amounts of carbon monoxide in the cellar and that it was still too dangerous to access.
“It’s been a day drilling through concrete and trying to cut through into the foundations to try and get through into that space,” Acting Superintendent Mick Fuller said.
“It’s a very, very small access point, so almost like a small manhole.”
The dimensions of the room remain unclear, but police said it may be different to initially thought.
“There’s a downwards passage that takes across into a bigger area,” Acting Superintendent Mick Fuller said.
“The access way into the cellar is pretty much a down shaft and then across … there’s a very small little passage way and there’s a bit of mucking around to get in there.”
A tribute message left on a bouquet of flowers for Layne, Jakeb and Kurtis Harvey. (ABC News: Claire Campbell)
Police are still working to ventilate the area, but Acting Superintendent Mick Fuller was reluctant to speculate about the sequence of events leading up to the men’s deaths.
“We’ve got nothing in terms of suspicion but I’m not going to speculate in relation to what we find because we simply haven’t been able to get down there,” he said.
“Unfortunately there is a lot of speculation. That’s part and parcel of small communities.
“We’ve got nothing at this point to suggest anything other than a generator and a tragic incident.
“It’s a very traumatic event for the town … our mission out of all of this is to get answers for the family and the coroner’s report.”
The close-knit mining town is in mourning for the men and a growing floral tribute to the victims lines the fence of their property, with locals leaving messages of grief.