Workplace accidents claimed 96 lives in state last year: RTI replies

At least 96 construction workers and labourers died in workplace accidents across Gujarat last year,with facilities of Adani Group and Jindal Group in Kutch and GIFT City in Gandhinagar witnessing some of the highest factory-floor accidents and deaths.

Written by Mandar Chitre | Ahmedabad | Published:April 2, 2012 6:14 am

At least 96 construction workers and labourers died in workplace accidents across Gujarat last year,with facilities of Adani Group and Jindal Group in Kutch and GIFT City in Gandhinagar witnessing some of the highest factory-floor accidents and deaths.

According to replies to RTI queries filed by the Bandhkam Mazdoor Sangathan in all divisional police stations across all 26 districts,77 workers were grievously injured in workplace accidents in 2011.

Across the state,workers died when they fell from rooftops,multi-storey buildings and scaffoldings. Falling objects like bricks or parts of metal machinery killed some,while several were electrocuted.

The replies further said that some were buried alive by cave-ins,others by collapsing walls and suffocation in manholes or coal containers. In a particularly gruesome tragedy in a Jindal group-owned factory in Mundra,two 18-year-olds fell into a pit of burning coal and burned to death.

The Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health (DISH) reports that between 2008 and 2010,130 workers died in factory floor mishaps — the rest presumably died on real estate plots,under bridges and inside ditches.

With 16 deaths and 12 injuries,the Mundra police station in Kutch had the distinction of registering the largest number of workplace accidents and deaths in 2011.

Ten of these accidents killed four people and grievously injured six others inside facilities owned and operated by the Adani Group. The victims were electrocuted,objects fell on them,or they fell from a height themselves.

Four other accidents on merchant vessels berthed at the Adani Port killed five more workers and sent a sixth to hospital. On June 16,three workers suffocated to death inside an unnamed ship’s cargo hold as they unloaded coal.

The only area that tops Mundra is the urban sprawl of Ahmedabad,which saw 24 deaths and seven injuries. These include two workers who died in accidents inside hospital compounds and three men who suffocated to death in a manhole near the riverfront at Usmanpura on April 26.

Like the manhole accident,some accidents claimed many victims; a collapsing railway bridge under the Chhota Udepur police station in Vadodara district on August 19 killed two workers and injured four. Likewise,a wall at Gandhinagar’s GIFT city collapsed on five workers on June 22,killing three of them.

Overall,115 of last year’s workplace accident victims were 30-year-old or younger,11 were teenagers.

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