3 sanitation workers die of asphyxiation in Lajpat Nagar
Almost two months after four sanitation workers died while cleaning a septic tank in south Delhi, another repeat of the incident was reported, this time from Lajpat Nagar, where three sanitation workers died due to asphyxiation inside a sewer line on Sunday.
The workers were rushed to AIIMS hospital by the police and other rescue agencies after a fourth sanitation worker entered the sewer line to find the three workers bodies afloat.
However, by the time they reached the hospital, the doctors declared them brought dead on arrival.
The victims were identified as- Joginder (32) and Annu (28), both residents of Khichdipur. The third body, a 25-year-old man, is yet to be identified.
The incident came to light around 1 pm. Eye witnesses had reported that the three sanitation workers were cleaning several sewer lines in the locality before they chose to enter the sewer line opposite MCD office near Kabir Ram Mandir.
"I was at the local pan kiosk. We all saw the karamcharis working. After some time I saw a crowd of 10-12 people gathered at the sewer line. One of the karamcharis' who went in did not come back and was not even responding to anyone," said Hari Prasad, an eye witness.
Eye witnesses also reported that they could see the workers body afloat and sent into two other workers to inquire into his condition. But they too succumbed to the noxious gases and suffocated to death.
Later, the fourth worker was sent inside the sewer line, hanging from a rope. When he felt the effect of the gas, he signaled the public to raise him to the ground when he reported that the three of them were dead.
The police in the meantime have registered a case under section 304 IPC and have also told this paper that according to theprima facie investigation , no safety gear was given to the deceased.
The Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari had also called for a high-level probe by the LT Governor Anil Baijal claiming that the Jal Board officials did not ensure compliance with safety measures before starting cleaning work.
However, the DJB has washed its hands off the matter claiming that the workers were never authorised to work at the sewer line by the DJB.
The Delhi water minister Rajendra Gautam took to twitter to say that an internal inquiry has been formed to look into the incident.
"I am sad to know that 3 workers are expired (sic) during cleaning of sewer at Lajpat Nagar I have set up an inquiry," he said in a tweet.