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Updated: April 14, 2014 11:00 IST

Two workers suffocate to death in manhole

Staff Reporter
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Fire and Rescue Services personnel inspect the manhole from which two workers were pulled out after they suffocated on Sunday. Both were declared dead at the General Hospital.
Photo: Special Arrangement
The Hindu Fire and Rescue Services personnel inspect the manhole from which two workers were pulled out after they suffocated on Sunday. Both were declared dead at the General Hospital. Photo: Special Arrangement

Both fell unconscious soon after they entered drain

Two workers died after they were suffocated while working in a canal near Canal Shed Road in Kochi on Sunday.

Madhav, 58, and Raju, 50, both hailing from Tamil Nadu and living near the General Hospital here, died after they went into a manhole of the canal for cleaning it.

Police said that both men had been working under a contractor engaged in cleaning works for a long time.

The contractor had been entrusted by the Kerala Water Authority to clean the drains in the area.

The men opened a manhole at Colombo Junction, about 60 cm in diameter, and entered the drain to clean it around 10.50 a.m. Soon after they entered the drain, both became unconscious.

Fire and Rescue Services personnel from the Gandhi Nagar and Club Road fire stations arrived on the spot and attempted to rescue them.

“The drain was about 15 feet deep with a width of 1 m. There was very little water in drain, but there was a lot of waste accumulated. Poisonous gases in the drain may have led to their suffocation,” said leading fireman T. Shaji Kumar.

Firemen were unable to enter the drain through the small manhole with their breathing apparatus set and oxygen tanks.

They released five cylinders of compressed oxygen into the manhole to clear out the air before the firemen were lowered into the drain.

“One of them had fallen unconscious flat on his back. The second person had fallen sideways and could at least breathe,” said Mr. Kumar. The firemen pulled out both persons from the drain and rushed them to the General Hospital. Hospital authorities said both persons were dead on arrival.

The police have registered a case of unnatural death and are investigating the incident. An inquest was held on Sunday and a post-mortem will be conducted.

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My condolences to the family. I want to ask a question about the compensation given to the family. Do you think the money given to the family will be a great relief. I recommend that the contract laborers should take insurance prior to employing them for any work. Insurance will take up the cost protecting their lives and their families too.

from:  Andrew
Posted on: Apr 15, 2014 at 17:50 IST
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