4 labourers trapped in manhole die, to get Rs 5L each as compensation
Kolkata: Four labourers died and three others sustained injuries after they were trapped inside a manhole in Kudghat area on Thursday. The incident took place around 12.30 pm during the construction of an underground drainage system at Purba Putiyari in the Regent Park area, police said.
For the past few days, the labourers were engaged in the construction work being carried out under the Kolkata Environmental Improvement Investment Programme (KEIIP).
Chairman, Board of Administrators, Kolkata Municipal Corporation, Firhad Hakim announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for each of the family of the victims. He added that a three-member committee comprising DG (KEIIP), DG (Drainage) and Deputy CMOH (Chief Municipal Officer of Health) has been constituted to probe the incident. "The committee will probe whether safety measures were followed while the labourers were doing their job. If any lacunae is found on the part of the contractor in the probe we will lodge an FIR with the police for legal action."
When the labourers were working inside the manhole, the water — which was stopped for the work — got released accidentally. The labourers got stuck there.
Hearing their cries for help, locals and other labourers tried to rescue them but in vain.
Police and fire brigade along with the Disaster Management Group (DMG) were informed. Though firefighters initially tried to rescue the trapped workers using rope that they had tied to their legs before entering the manhole, they failed.
Later, DMG divers went underground and after almost one-and-a-half-hours, they rescued all the labourers and rushed them to Baghajatin State General Hospital and SSKM Hospital.
Two labourers — identified as Sabir Hossain (19) and Md Alamgir (35) of Harishchandrapur in Malda — were declared brought dead at SSKM Hospital. Among the five others, who were rushed to Baghajatin State General Hospital, two labourers — identified as Jahangir Alam (22) and Liyakat Ali (20) — were also declared brought dead. The other three injured are still undergoing treatment there.
The road in South Kolkata was named after Nafar Kundu, a former KMC employee who had died while trying to save two conservancy staff. They were trapped inside a manhole around a century back when Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was the Mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation.