Laskar died inside the reservoir while the other two were declared dead at Silchar Medical College and Hospitals, officials said. (Representational image)
Laskar died inside the reservoir while the other two were declared dead at Silchar Medical College and Hospitals, officials said. (Representational image)

3 labourers die while cleaning water reservoir in Assam

According to the officials, all three in Silchar district died of suffocation due to smoke created by an electric generator inside the 12-foot-deep reservoir.
By Biswa Kalyan Purkayastha
PUBLISHED ON SEP 11, 2021 12:21 AM IST

Silchar: Three labourers, including a 16-year-old, died in Assam’s Silchar while cleaning a drinking water reservoir tank of the public health and engineering department on Friday evening, officials of the disaster management authority said.

According to the officials, all three died of suffocation due to smoke created by an electric generator inside the 12-foot-deep reservoir. The deceased were identified as Salim Uddin Laskar (40), Nazim Uddin Mazumder (45) and Samsul Alom Mazumdar (16). Laskar died inside the reservoir while the other two were declared dead at Silchar Medical College and Hospitals, officials said.

Tapan Sharma from the public health and engineering department’s Silchar division said their initial investigation revealed presence of gas inside the reservoir tank, but they were not sure how it was generated.

“This is an old reservoir tank and we outsourced the reconstruction work to an agency named Binni construction. They used some labourers but we believe there was a security laps somewhere which led to unfortunate death of three individuals. Police are investigating the matter and more information will come later.”

Soon after the incident, officials of Cachar district administration along with a team of disaster management authority rushed to the spot. Biprojit Choudhary from the disaster management authority said that locals called them around 4pm on Friday after they rescued two unconscious individuals from the tank.

“Salim Uddin Laskar, a resident of Karimganj district, first suffocated inside the reservoir and lost his consciousness. Nazim Uddin Mazumder and his son Samsul went inside to rescue Salim but they also got stuck inside. Local residents gathered to rescue them and also informed us. One person died inside the reservoir while the rest two were declared dead in Silchar Medical College and Hospitals on arrival.”

Locals blamed the contractors of negligence after the incident. Miya Khan, president of Tupkhana gaon panchayat, said, “The agency which involved the labourers in the work didn’t provide them basic security measures so that they can come out if something unfortunate happens. When the three persons got stuck inside, they did not have a staircase to help themselves. There was no technical instructor who can support them. It’s a serious security laps which killed the three poor labourers. We demand adequate compensation to the families of these three individuals. The department should give us assurance that these kinds of security laps will not repeat in future.”

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