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Four succumb to toxic fumes

Four labourers were killed after inhaling noxious fumes when they got down into a sewer to clean it without any safety gear in Keshavpuram on Thursday, reports HT Correspondent.

delhi Updated: Sep 18, 2009 00:44 IST
HT Correspondent

Four labourers were killed after inhaling noxious fumes when they got down into a sewer to clean it without any safety gear in Keshavpuram on Thursday.

This incident took place around 5 in the evening at a sewage and raw effluent treatment plant in Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIDC) in Northwest Delhi.

Police said the place is a pumping station where raw sewage is treated. The pump was not functioning properly for some time, due to which the authorities had to call in labourers to clean it.

The pump is maintained by one SDB Engineering Associates Private Limited, an Anand Parbat, Central Delhi-based company. On receipt of the complaint, this company sent six labourers to the pumping station.

Police said Om Pal, Ganesh, Ajay, Subhash, Kamaljeet and Lucky Ali got down into the well, which contained the pump. They started the work in the 45-foot deep well around 5 p.m.

The police said the workers weren't provided with gas masks or other safety equipment, even though sewage at the pumping station is known to emanate poisonous gases for many kilometres.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northwest) N.S. Bundela said, "Four people have died in the incident. It seems that they were not provided with any safety equipment. We are looking into the matter and have registered a case."

The police said within minutes of getting down into the well, the six realised that they were fainting. While Kamaljeet and Lucky Ali somehow managed to climb back up, Om Pal, Ganesh, Ajay and Subhash could not. They suffocated to death in the well.

Kamaljeet later made the PCR call, following which, police and CATS ambulances rushed to the spot.

A case of causing death due to negligence has been registered against the managers of SDB Engineering Associates Private Limited.