Mumbai: Three contractual workers, all without safety gear, died in a tragic incident while cleaning a sewage pipeline in MIDC near Khambalpada in Dombivli on Friday afternoon. The tragedy was compounded by the fact that while one worker had accidentally slipped into the manhole, his two co-workers, who tried to save him, too fell into the cavity and died.
The pipeline in question is used to drain out chemical waste from MIDC. It is suspected that they may have died after getting asphyxiated due to the toxic gases emanating from the industrial waste. Suresh Shinde, Dombivli MIDC fire station, said, “We rushed to the spot immediately along with seven fire personnel and one fire tender. We managed to pull out the three workers within half an hour.”
They were rushed to Rukhmani Hospital, Kalyan, where doctors pronounced them dead on admission, the police said. All the three workers were from Bhoirwadi area in Dombivli. They had been hired by a private contractor to clean the sewage pipeline.
The police described the conditions under which these labourers were sent out to clean the sewage pipeline, without the requisite safety gear. “One of the labourers used a rope to climb inside. The other two followed, when the first labourer slipped and fell down. The duo entered the sewage in an attempt to save him, but unfortunately they too slipped and died,” the police said.
The police are investigating the matter. They are also probing the breach of rules in sending labourers into sewage without cleaning equipment and protective gear. An accidental death case has been registered.