A class IV employee of the Public Health Department died after falling inside a manhole near the Lake Club in Sector 5 on Thursday.
Satbir (37), a resident of Bapu Dham colony, had been working as a daily wager since 2001 and had become a cleaner only two months ago.
Around 10.30 am, Satbir and his two colleagues went to carry out maintenance and repair work inside the manhole. As soon as Satbir removed the manhole cover, he fell inside, said Babu Ram, one of the two men who accompanied him. “Toxic gases gushed out of the manhole, Satbir fainted and fell in,’’ he added.
Babu Ram then tied a rope on his waist while Charan Singh, the other worker, held it and he went down to rescue Satbir, but failed.
The fire service was then called, they took Satbir out and rushed him to the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital in Sector 16 where he was declared dead on arrival. The doctors said the exact cause of death would be known after the post-mortem.
Satbir is survived by his wife Sunita (31), daughters Komal (14), Rajji (11), Ratni (6) and son Jeeva (9).
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“There is no bread-earner left in his family now. How will they survive? The kids are too small. The family’s condition had started improving after Satbir became a regular employee, and they had also taken some loan for improving their quality of life. Now the family has been burdened,” said Kamlesh, Satbir’s elder sister.
Asked about the absence of any protective gear, UT chief engineer S K Chadha said, “It is a set rule for the personnel to wear masks when they carry out sewage-related work. An investigation will be carried out to determine why there was negligence.’’
Chadha also said that Satbir’s family would soon be given compensation.
Officials at the Sukhna Lake police post said that they had not registered a case, as there was no indication of foul play, but investigation was in progress.