A sanitation worker and a contractor of the civic body in Gujarat's Rajkot died due to asphyxiation while cleaning an underground drainage line on Tuesday.
Mehul Mehda (24), a sanitation worker, entered the underground sewer in Samrat industrial area and fainted after inhaling poisonous gases, an official from Malaviya police station said.
The contractor Afzal Kukur (42), who was present at the spot, immediately entered the sewer to rescue Mehda, but he too fell unconscious, he said.
The duo were taken out with the help of the fire brigade and shifted to the civil hospital, where the doctors declared them dead, the official said.
The sanitation worker was carrying out routine cleaning work of the sewer when he and the contractor died due to asphyxiation. The civic body will probe into the incident, Rajkot Municipal Corporation city engineer H M Kotak said.
"A machine was being used for cleaning and the victim apparently inhaled poisonous gas while fitting the machine. We are getting the exact information as to how it happened," Kotak said.
11 died in past two years
Notably, the state government had last week informed the Legislative Assembly that 11 sanitation workers died of asphyxiation while cleaning drains in different parts of the state in the last two years.
While seven of them died between January 2021 and January 2022, four lost their lives between January 2022 and January 2023, Gujarat Social and Justice and Empowerment Minister Bhanuben Babariya had said.
The government has paid Rs 10 lakh as compensation to their kin, she said. The minister also said that the state's urban local bodies and panchayats had been directed to strictly follow provisions of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.
(With inputs from PTI)
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