Drain accident: 50 hours later, another body found; supervisor gets bail
AK Jaiswal, assistant divisional officer who is overseeing rescue operations by the DFS, said, “The pipeline in which Sharma’s body was found extends up to more than 100 metres. We are scanning the entire drain. This is one of the toughest search operations I have been a part of. We have stopped the flow of water in the drains connecting the sewer line but there is still 1-2 feet water in the pipeline.”Updated: Jul 01, 2019, 07:59 IST
Fifty hours after three men were swept away inside a Delhi Jal Board (DJB) drain in west Delhi’s Keshopur, rescue teams managed to recover the body of a second man on Sunday afternoon.
Rescue and search operations for the third person, 19-year-old Ankit, is ongoing.
Atul Garg, chief fire officer of the Delhi Fire Services said the body of 25-year-old Devinder Sharma was pulled out at around 2 pm.
“Our men along with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams went 30 feet deep into the manhole. After 30 feet, there is a bend and our men had to further crawl about 25 feet horizontal into the sewer where Sharma’s body was stuck,” Garg said.
AK Jaiswal, assistant divisional officer who is overseeing rescue operations by the DFS, said, “The pipeline in which Sharma’s body was found extends up to more than 100 metres. We are scanning the entire drain. This is one of the toughest search operations I have been a part of. We have stopped the flow of water in the drains connecting the sewer line but there is still 1-2 feet water in the pipeline.”
He also said that the search operations are a challenge because it cannot be done after sunset. “Visibility is a major challenge we are facing. Also, since there is methane gas inside the sewer, we can only use spark-free lights. If we use a normal light, it can cause explosion or fire. At any given time a team of 10-12 men from DFS are deployed to assist NDRF in carrying out the search operations,” he said.
The recovery of Sharma’s body on Sunday also ended his family’s wait who, despite knowing that he would not have survived, were hoping for a miracle.
“Since the first worker who was rescued was pulled out alive (later died during treatment), we were hoping Devinder would also comes out alive. However, we knew that it is not possible for someone to survive down there for so long. We are waiting for his autopsy to finish to take him to our village in Uttar Pradesh for his last rites,” said Navneet Sharma, Devinder’s cousin who works as a labourer at Pragati Maidan.
Navneet said he along with Devinder’s father and elder brother have been waiting outside the drain since Friday afternoon, when the mishap was reported.
Deputy commissioner of police (west) Monika Bhardwaj said NDRF will continue the search and rescue operations for the third worker on Monday.
On Friday afternoon, Sharma had gone down the drain first to make repairs that would prevent garbage from entering the sewer line. Within seconds, he started feeling uneasy and called to his colleauges to haul him up. His colleague, 23-year-old Shahrukh Khan, tried to rescue him but he too fell unconscious and got stuck in mesh.
While 19-year-old Ankit too entered to attempt a rescue, water gushed into the chamber sweeping Ankit and Sharma deeper into the drain.
After fire fighters failed to detect the two bodies, the rescue operations were handed over to a 15-member NDRF team on Saturday.
Dinesh Mohaniya, vice chairman of Delhi Jal Board said they have shared the design and map of the sewage lines in that area with the NDRF
Police said that the site supervisor Sandeep Kumar whom they arrested Saturday was released on bail on Sunday.