Thane (Mumbai), May 11: In a rerun of a tragedy exactly seven days ago, three contract labourers died after inhaling toxic fumes while cleaning a septic tank at a housing society in Thane. They were not wearing any protective gear.
The victims have been identified as 20-year-old Amit Puhal, 21-year-old Aman Badal and 24-year-old Ajay Bumbak, all natives of Haryana.
Two others who entered after the three victims, suffered breathlessness, but survived.
According to media reports, eight labourers were summoned by contractors to clean four septic tanks at Pride Presidency Luxuria Housing society in Thane’s Dokhali area. They began their work around 4 pm on Thursday and tragedy struck at around midnight when their work was nearing completion.
After inhaling toxic fumes, all of the labourers attempted to move out of the tank but failed and died in the incident.
A preliminary inquiry has revealed that the contractors sent the labourers to clean the septic tanks without providing them with any safety gear at all despite knowing fully well they were putting the lives of these men at risk.
“The contractors Vaibhav Patil and Jeetendra Khait have been booked under section 304 (A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which corresponds to death due to negligence along with sections 7 and 9 of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013”; Times Now quoted Senior inspector AV Deshmukh as saying.
This is the second such instance which has come to light in less than a week from Mumbai and neighbouring areas with the first being the deaths of three men while cleaning a septic tank without safety gear in Nallasopara earlier this month.
In April of this year, a worker with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) died due to inhaling toxic gases after he entered a manhole at Nana Chowk in order to clean it.