Toxic gas kills them as they get into tank to fetch furnace oil

A non-functional motor cost three human lives when a factory supervisor asked three workers — two of them brothers — to get into an underground tank to haul furnace oil for the engine early Thursday in Peenya Industrial Area.

Police said the trio was on night shift at Hi-Tech Forgings (Bangalore) Pvt. at 3rd Cross in 3rd Stage of Peenya Industrial area.

The trio had been asked by their supervisor to get into the tank and bail out the oil in a bucket manually as the motor pump was out of order. The three died of asphyxiation inside the tank.

The death came to light around 2 a.m. when the security guard went to check on them after he found no movement even half an hour after they went in.

Suspecting the worst, he informed the supervisor who in turn alerted the manager and the police. The police and the Fire and Emergency services personnel recovered the bodies of Srinivas (20), a resident of Siddarthanagar and native of Anantpur district in Andhra Pradesh; Nagaraj (28), and that of his brother Krishna (24), residents of Kammagondahalli.

Arrest

The Peenya police arrested factory manager Suresh and are waiting to arrest factory owner Ramababu, who has gone to Andhra Pradesh.

The police said more than 10 men were working on the nightshift when the motor pump conked out. Nagaraj went in first.

When he did not emerge from the tank, his brother Krishna followed. When neither responded to Srinivas’s call, the latter made his fatal foray. “All of them were felled by the poisonous gas,” a police official said.

When the police arrived, they waited for the Fire and Emergency services personnel, who came around 4.30 a.m. with the right gear to extricate the bodies.

Protest

On hearing about the tragedy, relatives and friends of the three deceased staged a protest in front of the factory alleging negligence.

The protesters said none of the three was given any safety gear to fetch the oil and demanded suitable compensation.

More In: Bangalore