In an unfortunate incident, five men were allegedly asphyxiated to death in Delhi as they were reportedly engaged in cleaning the sewage tank of a locality, which was at the basement and about 30 feet deep. The incident took place at around 3.30 pm on Saturday in Tower P of DLF Capital Greens residential complex in the Moti Nagar area. The Police have registered a case and investigations are underway. The deceased were identified as Vishal, Umesh, Raja, Pankaj and Sarfaraz. All of them stayed near the Capital Greens. The residential complex has four sections, the incident happened in the phase 2 part. According to the local police, none of them was wearing safety equipment.
JLL, which maintains the services in the society did not issue a statement, however, DLF said in a statement that JLL is known for its high-quality safety standards and service and they are waiting for a detailed report from JLL. However, witnesses at the spot alleged that the facilities management firm had ‘forced’ workers employed for housekeeping to do other jobs at the site. Indian Express quoted Jitender, a labourer at the site, as saying that the firm forced housekeeping staff to do other jobs as well. He also said he was working in another tower when he came to know about these five people inside a tank.
The deaths of labourers due to inhaling toxic fumes have been reported in the past too. Several reasons are attributed for the incidents, however, the main reason is believed to be lack of safety measures and related equipment for the workers.
In 2017, four labourers died after inhaling toxic air in a water harvesting pit in Delhi. In the same year, three labourers died in similar circumstances in Lajpat Nagar. The workers were engaged in cleaning Delhi Jal Board sewer line.
In February this year, two labourers died of asphyxiation while cleaning the septic tank in a Bengaluru restaurant.