Three persons, including a businessman and his son, died after inhaling a poisonous gas at a sump at Tirumullaivoyal on Friday. Another person who came to their rescue is in a critical condition.
The police said G. Premkumar, 50, was living with his family on 52nd Street at Sivasakthi Nagar. A sump, built in the backyard of his house, had been in disuse for long. On Thursday, he engaged a couple of conservancy workers to clean it. The sump was closed tight after bleaching powder was dumped into it.
On Friday morning, Premkumar went into the sump to check whether he could store water in it. Within a few seconds, he collapsed. His son Pradeep Kumar entered the sump to rescue his father. He, too, collapsed.
On hearing the cries of the wife of Premkumar, Pramodh, 40, a neighbour, entered the sump and collapsed. Another neighbour, Saranathan, who attempted to rescue them, also fainted, the police said.
Some other neighbours broke the parts of the sump and rushed the four persons in an ambulance to a private hospital where Premkumar, Pradeep Kumar and Promodh were declared brought dead. Saranathan was in a critical condition, the police said.
Policemen from Tirumullaivoyal and fire service personnel from Ambattur reached the spot and conducted an investigation. Forensic experts told the police that the poisonous gas would have been formed because the sump was closed. Further investigation is under way.