Septic tank turns death trap for 4 workers at Dera Bassi meat plant - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Septic tank turns death trap for 4 workers at Dera Bassi meat plant

ByMohit Khanna, Mohali
Apr 22, 2023 02:11 AM IST

All four collapsed in the attempt to save each other; Nepalese national among deceased; Mohali deputy commissioner Aashika Jain has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident

Four men, including a Nepalese national, died of asphyxia while cleaning a septic tank at a meat processing plant in Dera Bassi’s Behra village on Friday afternoon.

The inconsolable family members of the victims who died after entering a septic tank at a meat plant in Dera Bassi’s Behra village. (HT Photo)
The inconsolable family members of the victims who died after entering a septic tank at a meat plant in Dera Bassi’s Behra village. (HT Photo)

Deputy commissioner Aashika Jain has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident, while police have launched culpable homicide proceedings against the management of the meat factory, which is run by Federal Agro Industries Private Limited.

Now catch your favourite game on Crickit. Anytime Anywhere. Find out how

Among the deceased were plumbing contractor Manak Singh, 25, a resident of Behra village, and his workers Janak Thapa, 35, a native of Nepal, and Girdhar Pandey, 25, and Kurban, 35, both hailing from Bihar. Manak was a permanent employee of the factory.

Dera Bassi ASP Darpan Ahluwalia said as per preliminary information, the septic tank was cleaned once in six months. “On Friday, the workers opened the tank and were preparing to enter in it, when one of them fell unconscious due to asphyxia. Another worker went in to rescue his colleague and also collapsed on inhaling the poisonous gases. Manak, with another workers, rushed to help the two men, but also fell unconscious,” she said.

The incident triggered panic in the factory unit, sending workers scurrying for cover. Later, some of them braved it and pulled the four men out of the tank.

On being informed, police responded to the scene and rushed the men to the Dera Bassi civil hospital, but they were declared brought dead.

Police then registered a case under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code against the factory management. “It is also being probed whether the deceased were trained for cleaning the septic tank or just operating under supervision,” said ASP Ahluwalia.

Agarshpal Vig, chairman, Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), said they will probe whether the company was following pollution norms.

On the factory’s part, Mohammed Shahid Hameed, one of the directors at Federal Agro Industries Private Limited, claimed, “It is not a septic tank. It contains water and debris, comprising salt. The is 12 feet high and one metre wide, and is cleaned on alternate days. The unit has been operating for nearly 20 years and such an incident has never occured in the past. The workers were wearing all necessary safety gear. An oxygen cylinder was never required in the past, so it was not used today as well. We will probe the incident from all angles.”

Man suffocates to death while cleaning sewer

In a similar tragedy in Dera Bassi on Friday, a man died while cleaning a sewer line at Johal Kalan village on the sarpanch’s directions.

Sources said the sewer line was not opened ahead in time for dispersing gas and two workers were forced to enter it.

Soon after entering the manhole, Ravi Kumar died due to asphyxia and the other worker, Gurjit, fell unconscious. He was rushed to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, for treatment.

Dera Bassi ASP Darpan Ahluwalia said they had initiated inquest proceeding under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, June 24, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On