A 27-year-old employee of a restaurant in Connaught Place died of suspected asphyxiation on the kitchen floor late on Thursday, police sources have said.
“When we visited the restaurant after the incident, we found that there was no ventilation on the second floor, where the kitchen was located,” said a senior police officer who did not wish to be named.
“The windows were fixed and cannot be opened even during an emergency. There were traces of gas leakage on the floor,” the officer added.
The report of the post-mortem examination on the man is not yet available, the sources added.
The police have registered a case of causing death by negligence against unknown persons. The force was informed of the incident by officials of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, where the man was taken by the restaurant staff.
Mukesh, a native of Nepal, was found unconscious by the restaurant chef and was rushed to RML, where doctors declared him dead on arrival. Policemen went through the footage from the security cameras of the restaurant and found that Mukesh had entered the kitchen around 7.30pm and was seen falling at 7.55pm.
“Mukesh was working inside the kitchen but suddenly collapsed on the floor. A few minutes later, the chef entered the kitchen and saw him lying unconscious and raised an alarm,” the officer added. The police have shifted the body to Lady Hardinge Hospital for the post-mortem examination.
The restaurant, situated in F Block of CP, has two floors. The restaurant, however, was operational only on the first floor. But the kitchen was operational in both the floors.
“At this moment we cannot say whether there was any foul play but nothing can be ruled out. There were fixed windows in the kitchen, which also housed two deep freezers. Forensic experts have visited the site and we will take their help too,” the officer added.
The police have recorded the statements of the restaurant manager and other staff members. There were no external injury marks on the body.