Four workers died of suspected asphyxiation after inhaling some poisonous gas while cleaning a septic tank in Haryana's Rohtak on Wednesday, the police said. The workers, three of them who were privately hired and one belonging to the Public Health Department, had entered the tank to clean it when the incident occurred, they said.
"They entered the tank to clean it, but as they were engaged in doing their job, they inhaled some poisonous gas and died," Deputy Superintendent of Police, Rohtak, Gorakhpal said over phone. He said all the four were in the age group of 22-30 years. An investigation into the incident is underway, he said.
In a similar incident, two contractual workers died and three others were hospitalised after apparently inhaling toxic gas when they entered a septic tank at a house in northwest Delhi on last month.
Investigations revealed that a person named Gulam Mustafa owns a semi-built plot at Bhagya Vihar area of Prem Nagar in Rohini. He started construction of a house a few days back, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Rohini) SD Mishra said.
The plot has a 10-foot-deep septic tank, in which Mustafa and a mason named Rambir allegedly asked two labourers to go inside for cleaning in the afternoon. The labourers refused to clean the tank since they were not trained, but they were forced to enter after being blackmailed with not getting paid three days of wages, the DCP said.
The labourers went inside the tank and fell unconscious. When Rambir did not get any response, he also went inside along with two others and suffered the same fate due to poisonous gases, the officer said.