Labourer cleaning drain suffocates to death
A 25-year-old contract labourer died of asphyxia after he inhaled poisonous methane fumes inside an underground storm water drain at Sane Guruji Marg in Tardeo on Friday afternoon.mumbai Updated: Dec 11, 2010 02:14 IST
A 25-year-old contract labourer died of asphyxia after he inhaled poisonous methane fumes inside an underground storm water drain at Sane Guruji Marg in Tardeo on Friday afternoon.
“Of the four labourers admitted in the hospital at 3pm, one was brought dead. Two are stable, while one is still critical and is being shifted to the ICCU,” said Dr Ravi Rananavare, dean, Nair Hospital.
Altafulla Rehmat, Mohammad Kalwa, 24, Mohammad Naribul and Mohammad Sayed, both 18-year-old, and Mohammad Malik Rafiq, 23, — all from West Bengal — were cleaning the 30-ft-deep drain, without any safety gear.
Just as Kalwa climbed down the ladder into the drain, one of the retaining walls collapsed and water gushed in. He got swept away some distance in the 5.5 ft deep water. “Kalwa was swept away by the strong current and we could not see him. We too entered in the drain and managed to catch him. But we started struggling against the current,” said Naribul, adding that they even shouted for help. Passersby then rushed in to help them.
While people were pulling the labourers out of the drain, Rehmat, who was last in line, got swept away. “We fished out his body after 45 minutes,” said a fire official on condition of anonymity. Rehmat died after inhaling methane gas that is usually generated in drains.
While Kalwa is critical in the ICU at Nair hospital, Naribul and Sayed, who suffered serious injuries, are recuperating there. Rafiq was discharged after primary treatment. An accidental death case has been registered.
The city has a 1,987 km network of storm water drain system to drain the excess rainwater and groundwater from roads and pavements into the sea.