Toxic gas, lack of safety equipment cost workers their lives in Thane
Just a week after three workers died after inhaling poisonous gas in Nalasopara, tragedy strikes again in Thane
A contractor's negligence and the alleged indifference of the housing society that hired them has cost three workers their lives. The trio, migrants from Haryana, died when they suffocated in a sewage tank they had to clean at the society in Dhokali, Thane, on Thursday. Kapurbawdi police, who registered a case against the contractor and arrested him, said the workers had not followed basic rules and did not have safety equipment.
The trio, aged between 20 and 24, were hired with five other workers to clean the tanks in a sewage treatment plant (STP) operated in the posh Pride Presidency at Thane. The STP was constructed by the builder and is being operated by the society from March 2012. It is learnt that while the workers were not provided safety equipment, the contractor, Dilip Patil, also chose to make them work from afternoon into the night. The dead were identified as Amit Puhal, 20, Aman Badal, 21, and Ajay Bumbak, 24. The other workers, also from Haryana, are Vijendra Hatwal, 25, Manjit Vaidya, 25, Jasbir Puhal, 24, Rummer Puhal, 30 and Ajay Puhal, 21. Amit had married recently.
The labourers were cleaning the tank at Pride Presidency in Thane. Pic/Sameer Markande
'No safety equipment'
Thane Regional Disaster Management Cell in-charge Santosh Kadam also blamed the housing society for their 'indifference.' He said, "The society gives its annual maintenance work for the STP to a private contractor. It was going on since Thursday afternoon and continued in the night. After dinner the labourers went to work in the intermediate tank, where water that comes out of the secondary treatment tank is stored. They could not survive because of the gas in the tank. They were not provided with any safety equipment such as masks. Society members only want work to be done at a low cost. They should have checked whether these workers had safety quipment."
Kapurbawdi police station Senior Inspector A V Deshmukh said, "The labourers didn't take into consideration the gas in the tank which was 12 feet deep and had water upto 2 feet. The three workers died in seconds. One of them who was brought out was taken to Metropol Hospital." He was later discharged.
The other workers who are distraught at losing their friends
'Help their kin'
The rest of the labourers are distraught after losing their friends. They all stayed at Bhayandar. Jasbir Puhal recalled the incident and said, "We started work around 3 pm. Till 10.30 pm we cleaned three of four tanks. After dinner Amit Puhal decided to go first into the tank. But he did not respond so Vijendra went inside. He couldn't breathe so he banged on the side of the tank. Aman managed to pull him out and saved him. Aman and Ajay Bumbak then went in to get Amit. But even they couldn't breathe. I immediately called our contractor and the building chairman who called the Fire Brigade."
The Fire Brigade brought the bodies out. "We cannot work all the time with masks on, so we avoid wearing them. But for this work we weren't given any masks. My friends were hardworking and the only breadwinners in their families. The contractor or the society members should help them. Aman and Ajay Bumbak had recently joined us. Some of us have been doing this tank cleaning work since our childhood, so we were very sure about the work," said Jasbir Puhal, who is in shock.
Police said the workers did not take into account the gas in the tank while working at the society in Thane. Pics/Sameer Markande
Suman Marsana, a committee member of the society, only said, "We called them to clean the tank. We didn't know they did not have safety equipment. We didn't force the contractor to do the job at night, it was their call."
The depth of the tank that the workers entered
Top News Stories Of The Day
- Factory owner kidnapped in filmy style from Palghar
- Mumbai Crime: Failed actor turns to chain snatching in local trains
- Tiger found dead in Melghat reserve
- Highway Gomantak in Bandra fight with hsg society over maintenance
- 6 dead as cars crash head-on trying to avoid biker near Palghar
- Toxic gas, lack of safety equipment cost workers their lives in Thane
- Byculla museum death: BMC orders probe, cops to wait before action
- Mumbai Crime: 63-yr-old doctor gets bail in molestation case in Bandra
- Mumbai volunteers refused space to stock up relief materials for Odisha
- Now, meds at Mumbai civic hospitals to have MCGM mark and bar, QR codes
- Maharashtra scientist discovers Mizo rain snake
- Mumbai: Law students relieved as GLC agrees to have retest
- Praveen Pardeshi to be new BMC chief
- After HC order, cops finally file FIR against 19-year-old's parents
- The dark side: Have you seen these 12 most haunted places in Mumbai?
- Himanshu Roy death anniversary: Mumbai's top cop whose life was cut short by suicide
- Kelly and Kody: The couple's steamy and dreamy photos are too hot to handle!
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
Bigg Boss fame Ajaz Khan arrested for sharing controversial TikTok video