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Andhra Pradesh: 7 workers die after inhaling poisonous gas while cleaning septic tank

A case of causing deaths by negligence has been registered against the private hatchery that engaged the water to clean the tank.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2018 19:53 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Asphyxiation,Andhra Pradesh,Chittoor
A sanitation worker’s feet covered with muck.(Ravi Choudhary / HT File Photo)

Seven workers of a private hatchery died of asphyxiation while cleaning a septic tank manually in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district on Friday.

Initially four workers went inside the underground septic tank to clean it, but as soon as they got into it they fainted inhaling poisonous gas, police said.

When they did not come out of the tank, another four went inside. But they too met with the same fate.

It was then the security authorities of the Sri Venkateshwara Hatcheries Limited at the district’s Moram village raised an alarm and the local villagers rushed to the spot. They broke open the tank to rescue the workers. While one of them was found dead, the other seven were pulled out in unconscious state. Three of the workers died on the way to hospital while three others died undergoing treatment.

Only one worker, identified as Shiva, survived and his condition is said to be stable.

The deceased have been identified as Reddappa, Ramachandra, Kesava, Ramesh, Govinda Swamy, Babu and Venkat Raju.

Prima facie it appeared that the sanitation supervisor of the hatcheries had failed in assessing the situation in the septic tank before sending the workers inside, police said. The company gets the tank cleaned once in six months.

The police said a case of causing deaths by negligence had been registered. The plant manager escaped immediately after the incident.

Health minister Dr Kamineni Srinivas said the government would extend all possible assistance to the families of the victims.

First Published: Feb 16, 2018 15:00 IST