A Surfeit of Malodorous Vapors


putrefaction noun

pu·tre·fac·tion \pyü-trə-ˈfak-shən\

Etymology:
Middle English putrefaccion, from Late Latin putrefaction-, putrefactio, from Latin putrefacere 14th century

  1. the decomposition of organic matter; especially : the typically anaerobic splitting of proteins by bacteria and fungi with the formation of foul-smelling incompletely oxidized products
  2. the state of being putrefied : corruption

Corpse stench drives Russian doomsday cult from cave

May 15, 2008

MOSCOW (AFP) — Toxic fumes from rotting corpses drove the final members of a Russian doomsday cult from the cave where they had been waiting six months for the end of the world, officials said Friday.

Eight women and one man emerged from the muddy bunker outside a village in the region of Penza, 560 kilometres (350 miles) southeast of Moscow, said Tatyana Ostrovskaya, a spokeswoman for the local prosecutor’s office.

“The last nine people came to the surface after the bodies of two women were found,” Ostrovskaya told AFP.

Interfax news agency quoted local official Vladimir Provotorov as saying that everyone left because there was “a real threat of poisoning from toxic corpse fumes” from two deceased cult members rotting in the cave.

“We could smell it through the ventilation shaft,” he was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency as saying. “When the specialists took out the dead hermits, we asked the others if they would like to leave, and they agreed.”

The cultists were part of an ultra-Orthodox Christian splinter group, led by bearded guru Pyotr Kuznetsov, who reject the modern world and believe that bar codes on food products are a symbol of the devil.

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