3 killed in tank constructed at makeshift factory in Ghaziabad
Three persons died when they went inside a water tank — where vegetables were stored — inside a makeshift pickle-making factory in Daulat Nagar area of Loni on Sunday morning. Experts from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), who reached the site after the incident, said they found heavy traces of hydrogen sulphide and carbon monoxide inside the tank and that it is likely that the chemicals led to the deaths.
The incident took place around 9am on Sunday when factory owner Luvkush Prasad (60), his son Praveen Kumar (32) and his wife Champa Devi arrived at their factory after almost a week. Maintaining that the factory was operating out of a residential plot in violation of norms, police said the factory owners had built a tank 20-foot-wide and nearly 10-12 feet deep, which was used for seasoning vegetables to make pickle.
Satendra Kumar Singh, sub-divisional officer (Loni), said: “Luvkush and his son Praveen went inside the tank that had knee-deep water. They couldn’t come out. When Champa Devi got to know about the incident, she raised an alarm.”
Hearing her cries, their neighbour Hriday Nath Dubey (45) rushed to help and stepped into the tank. Despite efforts, he could not help the two and, in fact, got trapped inside the tank himself.
“We roped in police and NDRF teams, who retrieved the three bodies. The bodies have been sent for autopsy. The district magistrate has also ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident. An FIR is also in the process of being lodged as the factory was being operated in an unauthorised manner on a residential plot,” Singh said.
The retrieval of the three bodies was not easy as the house that the factory operated out of had no ventilation, barring a very small opening over the main entrance.
“Officials had to break the rear wall of the house to let out the toxic gases. When our team reached the spot, the gas concentration had lessened, but we found hydrogen sulphide and carbon monoxide. We had to go in with a biological protection suit. It is likely that the gases proved fatal for the three men since they were not wearing proper gear. Besides, a stench resembling that of rotten eggs emanated from the tank,” inspector Karam Singh, NDRF, said.
The first two victims, police said, hail from Pratapgarh and had been operating the pickle factory from Karawal Nagar in Delhi for the past three-four years. Dubey, the third victim, is a daily wager.
This is the second such incident in Loni in the last two months.
On July 8, three persons, including two employees of a contractor’s firm, died after they tried to save each other inside a deep well of a sewage pumping station. After the first victim could not come out of the well, the second victim went down to save him. However, when both could not come out a local man tried to retrieve them, but he too died inside the well, which had a high concentration of gases.