Three sewermen died on Saturday due to toxic gases in a manhole near Kalibari light point in Sector 31. The workers went down the sewer without wearing masks and had no safety kits.
The victims were identified as 40-year-old Dhan Singh, 30-year-old Ashraf and 40-yearold Prempal, all hailing from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh. They were hired by a private contractor — MS Deol Engineering Works — registered in the name of Jaspal Kaur, and were being paid Rs 400 per day.
The police have booked the contractor— Jaspal Kaur, under Section 304-A (causing death due to negligence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Sector 31 police station. She was arrested and was later released on bail.
Her husband Sukhraj is an employee with the MC.
Sources said the pressure of toxic gases was too much inside the sewer, which was 18 feet deep, which led to suffocation of the three workers.
The incident took place around 11 am when the sewermen opened the manhole cover and placed a ladder to go down the sewer. Ashraf was the first one to go down the manhole. As soon as he entered the sewer, he fell unconscious.
Dhan Singh and Prempal tried to rescue him but they also inhaled poisonous gases and failed to come out of the sewer.
All this while, their fourth companion, Bhora Singh, was sitting outside the manhole holding the ladder. He immediately raised the alarm and people gathered around the spot.
A call was made to the police control room following which the fire department and UT administration’s disaster management team reached the spot.
The rescue operation lasted for around an hour. Dhan Singh and Prempal were taken out of the sewer and were rushed to the Sector 16 Government Multi Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, where they were declared brought dead.
After a gap of about 30 minutes, Ashraf was also taken out and he was also declared brought dead at the hospital.
Two fire fighters who went in the sewer using oxygen masks were also admitted to the hospital after the rescue operation.