Two die while cleaning septic tank

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DEATH TRAP: The septic tank at the house in East Tambaram.
DEATH TRAP: The septic tank at the house in East Tambaram.

K. Manikandan

TAMBARAM: Two workers died on the spot after inhaling poisonous gas inside the septic tank of a house on Purushothaman Street at Ramakrishnapuram in East Tambaram on Saturday.

According to Chitlapakkam police, K. Shankar (45) and Elumalai (38), hailing from Desur village at Vandavasi in Tiruvannamalai district, were working for a private operator. Shankar was the driver and Elumalai, cleaner. On Saturday morning, they were asked by their employer to clean the septic tank at the house of Babu. They pumped out liquid waste from the tank using a hosepipe and emptied it into the tanker. Bhaskar then stepped inside the tank to clear the sludge at the bottom. When he did not come out, a concerned Elumalai also went in. Both fainted after inhaling poisonous gas.

Residents called up the fire control room and an emergency rescue team from Tambaram reached the spot. The firemen, equipped with safety kits, pulled out the workers, who were rushed to the Tambaram Taluk Government Hospital (Chromepet GH), where they were pronounced dead on arrival.

R.G. Jayakanthan, Deputy Director (Northern Region), Fire and Rescue Services, said the accident exposed the lack of safety measures.

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