Mumbai: Woman gets trapped in septic tank, dies after toilet seat gives way

She had sustained head injuries in the fall in a public toilet in Mankhurd, but managed to shout to alert those around

In an incident that points to the dismal state of civic amenities in the city, a woman died after getting trapped in the septic tank of a public toilet at Mankhurd yesterday. She had fallen into it when the toilet seat of the Indian-style toilet gave way. The woman, Kalpana Pimpale (41), was a resident of Maharashtra Nagar chawl.

Kalpana Pimpale was a resident of Mankhurd
Kalpana Pimpale was a resident of Mankhurd

Pimpale, a widow, stayed with her college-going son and daughter. Around 6.45 am yesterday, she went to a public toilet near her house. Police say the toilet seat gave way and Pimpale fell into the septic tank below. Pimpale sustained head injuries, but managed to shout out. People gathered and called the police, who reached the spot, and called the fire brigade.

A senior police official said, with the help of fire brigade personnel, Pimpale was lifted out at 10.30 am. She was taken to Rajawadi Hospital, where she was declared dead around 10.45 am. Police officials said she died of head injuries and suffocation.

A local resident said this is the second time such an incident has occurred. About 3 months back, a cleaner fell into a septic tank but he was rescued immediately. He had to be admitted to an ICU, but recovered later. The resident also said the toilets are very old and so such incidents keep happening.

Committee members of the chawl said the toilets had been repaired four years back, but they had been informing the BMC that they needed repairs again. Their pleas allegedly fell on deaf ears. They now plan to take up the issue again to ensure authorities look into it. An accidental death report has been registered at Trombay police station.

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