New year festival turns tragic as four family members, neighbour die after inhaling toxic gas in well - Hindustan Times
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New year festival turns tragic as four family members, neighbour die after inhaling toxic gas in well

ByNadeem Inamdar
Apr 11, 2024 07:14 AM IST

The tragedy of five men dying of suffocation in a discarded well on Gudi Padwa, celebrated as the new year in Maharashtra, at Ahmednagar has left the women of the family, and the village shattered

Pune: The tragic incident at Wakdi village in Ahmednagar on Tuesday claimed five persons, including four of a farmer family, with the sixth recuperating at a private hospital. The tragedy of five men dying of suffocation in a discarded well on Gudi Padwa, celebrated as the new year in Maharashtra, has left the women of the family, and the village shattered.

The tragedy of five men dying of suffocation in a discarded well on Gudi Padwa, celebrated as the new year in Maharashtra, at Ahmednagar has left the women of the family, and the village shattered. ((PIC FOR REPRESENTATION))
The tragedy of five men dying of suffocation in a discarded well on Gudi Padwa, celebrated as the new year in Maharashtra, at Ahmednagar has left the women of the family, and the village shattered. ((PIC FOR REPRESENTATION))

According to the police, a cat fell into the old, shallow well used to dump animal dung and excreta at the farm of Anil Kale. His son Vishal alias Bablu Kale went down the well to rescue the animal. As it took time for Bablu to rescue the animal, his father also descended into the well, also used as a biogas pit.

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Meanwhile, sensing the absence of Anil, Babasaheb Gaikwad, working at the neighbouring farm, also went down into the well, and the trio were feared trapped in the animal waste slurry. Anil’s cousin Sandeep Kale who was passing by the road near the farm well heard a sound coming from inside the well and went down to rescue the trapped persons, only to be feared drowned. Sandeep’s father Manik Kale also reportedly went down the well and fell into the slurry. Later, relative Vijay Kale descended the well with a rope around his waist. Sensing the presence of toxic gases in the sludgy, contained space, he cried for help and was rescued by the people in the neighbourhood.

Vijay was rushed to a hospital in Ahmednagar and his condition is stated to be stable.

While Anil’s body was brought out at 9.15 pm, the rescue efforts continued till midnight and all bodies were recovered by around 12.30 am. The bodies were identified as Bablu Kale (28), Anil Kale (55), Manik Kale (65), Sandeep Kale (32) and Babasaheb Gaikwad (40).

Meanwhile, villagers had rushed to the spot after hearing about the incident and arranged a pump to flush out water from the well. Special teams were called from Ahmednagar, Srirampur, Sambhajinagar for rescue mission, according to the Ahmednagar rural police officials.

Political leaders like Vitthal Langhe, Ankush Kale, sarpanch Sambhaji Kale, Police Patil Anjali Kale, tehsildar Sanjay Birasdar and inspector Dhananjay Jadhav rushed to the spot to assess the situation.

“After panchnama, the bodies were handed over to the family for last rites,” said Jadhav, incharge of Newasa Police Station, adding that the five persons died of suffocation after inhaling toxic gases that emanated from animal excreta dumped at the well.

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