A BMC water maintenance staffer died and four were reported injured on Sunday after inhaling poisonous gases inside a manhole in Mumbai’s Grant Road. The deceased was identified as Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation employee Rakesh Nizab, 45.
The men had reportedly come to repair a pipeline inside the manhole. None of the workers had their safety gears when they fell unconscious.
Mumbai Fire Brigade Assistant Spokesperson Tanaji Kamble said all five men were taken out from the manhole and taken to BYL Nair Hospital, where Nizab was declared dead on arrival. The four others who were injured – Balasaheb, Umesh Pawar, Suresh Pawar and Shantaram Bhakte – are out of danger, said hospital dean Ramesh Bharmal.
Milind Ranade, chief of workers’ union Kachra Vahtuk Shramik Sangh, claimed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had violated guidelines by not providing safety gear to the workers. “Senior civic officials should be held responsible for the death and for compromising the safety of conservancy workers,” he said. “Specific guidelines have been set to be followed before entering a manhole and workers should be provided safety equipment.”
The Gamdevi police have filed an accidental death report and are investigating the matter.
Eleven such deaths were reported in the state last year. Three labourers had died of suffocation in an industrial drain in Dombivali East, and three firemen and two local residents died after entering a well in Kalyan’s Kolsewadi area.
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