In yet another case of criminal apathy, five sanitation workers who had entered into a sewer died after inhaling toxic gas in Nandgram locality on Thursday. The police have registered a case of negligence causing death and launched an investigation to fix responsibility. Authorities have been asked to submit a report within 15 days.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, while expressing condolence over the death of the workers, announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of the deceased who were identified as Damodar (40), Horil (35), Sandip (30), Shiv Kumar (32) and Vijay Kumar (40), all residents of Samastipur in Bihar.
They were working at a project, sanctioned by the Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation, to connect domestic sewer lines with the main drainage system of the city, District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey said.
They were employed by a private contractor, which was carrying out the project under Amrit Yojna of the civic body’s water department in Krishna Colony near Nandgram area under Sihani Gate police station limits, he said.
Around 1 pm, one of the men went inside the sewer line but did not come out. Then one by one the other four men went inside to find the rest. When none of them came out, another man went inside and saw the five men lying in an unconscious state, the official said. The contractor did not provide safety kits to the workers, the DM added.
The men were rushed to nearby Mariam Hospital, where doctors declared them brought dead, the DM said. “Bodies of sanitation workers were taken to hospital with help of locals. A worker went unconscious after inhaling poisonous gas, after which other sanitation workers jumped to save him, however, they also lost their lives in rescue attempt,” said a local resident of the area.
A case has been lodged against the contractor, EMS Infracon, and three of its engineers after the civic body filed a police complaint alleging negligence.