Manual scavenging menace: Two die of asphyxia while cleaning sewage tank at MES Army office in Chennai
Army officials undertook all rescue operations related to the incident and later reported the matter to the police. | Photo credit: iStock Images
- The incident took place at the MES Army office in the Tamil Nadu Secretariat.
- The victims were identified as a 40-year-old Raja and a 35-year-old Santosh.
Chennai: The scourge of manual cleanup continues unabated, wiping out innocent lives across the country. In a recent incident, two workers were suffocated while cleaning a sewage tank at the MES Army’s office in Chennai on Friday.
The MES Army office is located in the Tamil Nadu Secretariat. The victims were identified as a 40-year-old Raja and a 35-year-old Santosh.
Five workers were involved in the cleaning job when the tragedy struck. Fire and rescue services have been pushed into service for rescue operations, according to a report in the Times of India.
The victims were removed from the swamp after an hour of exertion. While the two men in the tank passed out, the third worker managed to get out after sensing something wrong.
The victims were taken to the Army Hospital on the same campus where they were pronounced dead. Police officers from St. George Police Station also visited the site later.
The police were initially not allowed to enter the building because the incident occurred on the army campus.
Army officials undertook all rescue operations related to the incident and later reported the matter to the police.
The Madras High Court has repeatedly ordered an end to manual cleaning, but the inhumane practice continues unabated.
In the town of Sriperumbudur, Kancheepuram district, three men died of asphyxiation on February 14 while cleaning the sewage tank of an industrial kitchen.
Just a week later after that incident, a 52-year-old man died after inhaling toxic gas while repairing a 30-foot-deep well.