A 47-year-old labourer was killed and another serious injured when they were smothered under a large mass of earth while digging a well at the construction site of a house at Puthentheruvu in the city on Friday morning.

The police identified the deceased as Kumar, 47, a resident of Muttathara. His co-worker, Jayakumar, has been admitted to the hospital with injuries.

The police said a side of the well they were digging collapsed on the workers at around 8.30 a.m.

They said a large pile of sodden mud, residue of the piling work done for laying the foundation of the house, heaped near the well had caused one of its sides to collapse.

The Fire and Rescue Department and the police rushed to the spot. They said they had nearly extracted Kumar from the pit when he was again buried under a large mass of mud.

Local people blocked the road demanding action against the house owner on the charge of criminal negligence and man slaughter. The Revenue Divisional Officer reached the spot and promised an enquiry into the incident.