Five drown in Mumbai; well full of toxic fumes, claim residents
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Five drown in Mumbai; well full of toxic fumes, claim residents

All five bodies were retrieved two hours later and sent for a post mortem to the Rukminibai civic hospital.

mumbai Updated: Nov 02, 2018 01:23 IST
Sajana Nambiar
Sajana Nambiar
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,toxic fumes,civic hospital
Two of the five victims were fire officials who jumped in to the well to rescue the other three who died in Kalyan.(Rishikesh Choudhary/HT)

Five people drowned in a private well in Kalyan (East) on Thursday. The dead include two firemen who had jumped in to rescue the other three victims. Fire officials said they likely suffocated as the well is near a drain, and could have been full of toxic fumes from polluted water.

Around 2pm on Thursday, a sanitation worker, Kamlesh Yadav, 35, entered the well to clean it after he was engaged by Rahul Goswani, 32, on whose property the well is situated.

When Yadav did not return for more than an hour, Rahul Goswami jumped in to rescue him. Within minutes, his father, Gunwant Goswami, 56, also jumped in.

When all three men did not surface, the family called up the fire department around 3pm, said Sudhakar Kulkarni, a senior fire officer.

“When our firemen reached the spot, they were told there may be electric current inside the well from the live wires from the poles next to it,” said Kulkarni, adding that the power supply in the area was first disconnected before the two firemen, who died, entered the well using a ladder.

“The water was black and we could not spot the body, so we decided to send in two men.”

However, the firemen who entered the well did not wear masks. Pramod Waghchoure, 44 and Anant Shelar, 48, jumped in without protection and died, officials said.

“When the two fire officials did not return, we realised we cannot send anymore people. While we could not spot the bodies from the surface, we managed to hook their clothes and pulled them up,” Kulkarni said.

All five bodies were retrieved two hours later and sent for a post mortem to the Rukminibai civic hospital,” said Raju Lavangare, health officer, KDMC. “The actual cause of their death can be revealed only after the reports.”

Fire officials have also collected samples of water in the well and drain for testing.

Residents of the area have been complaining about the open drain next to the well flowing along the Chakki naka to Netivli naka in Kalyan (East). This stretch is being widened and concretised by the KDMC. However, some portions of this road have been left incomplete with the drainage line open and iron rods protruding from the edges of the road. Water from the drainage line enters the well due to leakages.

“We have been demanding to build the road and close the drainage line as the water from the drainage stinks and we cannot breathe. The civic body has not paid attention to this demand, and this has now claimed five lives,” said Manoj Rane, 33, who lives in the area.

KDMC officials said they will check the drainage line. A senior officer from KDMC requesting anonymity said, “If the locals have complained about the road and drainage lines, we will investigate why the complaints weren’t looked into. We will also repair the drains at the earliest and if the contractor is found guilty of shoddy work, action will be taken.”

A police officer from Kolsewadi police said,”We have registered three cases of accidental death. We are investigating will register cases under relevant sections of IPC.”

First Published: Nov 02, 2018 01:22 IST