Mumbai: Two labourers drowned in an MTNL duct of a sewage chamber near Goregaon (E) on Tuesday afternoon. Police said the workers were going to begin the cleaning work on Wednesday and had gone inside the chamber to put the tools near the spot.
According to an eyewitness, when the first worker did not return from the chamber after 20 minutes, another one went in to check on him, but he too failed to return. After their associate did not see them, he called for help. The duo was fished out and rushed a hospital. They were declared dead on arrival.
An acccidental death report (ADR) has been registered at Vanrai police station. The police are trying to find out who had given the contract for cleaning work to these workers. The police have identified the three workers who were given the work to clean the MTNL duct near Hub Mall in Goregaon (E). They are Arunkumar Patel (43), Manoj Goswami (41) and Dharmendra Rajbhar, (47). Goswami followed Patel into the chamber to keep an iron rod, while Rajbhar stood at a bus stop nearby.
“First, Patel had gone to keep an iron rod and other equipment meant for the job inside the chamber by opening the duct chamber hole. When he did not return for 20 minutes, Goswami entered the chamber to check on their colleague. Another 20 minutes later, when both didn’t return, I called for help and police arrived at the spot,” said Rajbhar in his statement to the police.
The police said they pulled out both Patel and Goswami with Rajbhar’s help, after securing him with ropes. The duo was rushed to Trauma Care Hospital, where they were declared dead.
Gitendra Bhavsar, Senior Police Inspector of Vanrai police station, said: “The duct is about 8 ft deep and filled by sewerage water up to 3 ft. The chamber was filled with gas, which is suspected to be toxic. We are trying to ascertain who had assigned the work to them.”
Patel had plenty of experience in doing the cleaning of chambers and ducts, while Goswami had joined him recently. Both were residents of Walbhat Road in Goregaon (E), and were private