Death of workers: Tannery owner booked for negligence, no arrests yet

On Monday morning, six labourers fell sick while cleaning the clogged tank.

Written by Arshad Ali | Kolkata | Published: December 9, 2015 12:16 am
tannery deaths, Calcutta Leather Complex, toxic gas death, toxic gas fumes, tannery owner arrested, kolkata news The workers were cleaning the tank of Labbaik International in South 24 Parganas district on Monday. (Express Photo by: Partha Paul)

A day after three workers died after inhaling toxic gas fumes while trying to clear a tank of a tannery at Calcutta Leather Complex in South-24 Parganas’ Bantala area, the owner of the tannery was on Tuesday booked by the police.

The case was lodged after the brother of one of the deceased — Amiya Pramanik — lodged a complaint with the Kolkata Leather Complex police station against Parvez Alam, the owner of Labbaik International tannery.

“A case under sections 304A (causing death by negligence) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code has been started against the owner of the unit, Parvez Alam. The brother of the deceased has accused him of not following due safety procedure and negligence,” said ASP (East South-24 Parganas) Arijit Sinha.

“We will serve a notice to Alam and also ask for expert opinion from the Forensic Science Laboratory and the Pollution Control Board. If negligence is proved, he will be arrested after a proper inquiry,” he added.

When contacted, Alam, who is out of town, said he was deeply grieved by the accident and would return in a couple of days to meet the families.

“I am also a human being and understand what they must be going through. No amount of money would bring back the dead but from my end, I would like to pay Rs 1 lakh to each of the families. If they want anything more, I am ready to discuss that as well,” he added.

On Monday morning, six labourers fell sick while cleaning the clogged tank.

None of them having any safety gears on. While two among them were not affected much, four were rushed to the district hospital. Ashoke Kumar Mondal, Chandi Pramanik and Amiya Pramanik were declared brought dead on arrival at the hospital.

The sixth worker, Khokon Mondal, has been admitted to the Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) of Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital (CNMC). “His condition has slightly improved but he is not entirely out of danger. He is still in the ITU but we didn’t have to put him on ventilation and that is a positive sign,” said Dr Pit Baran Chakrabarty, medical superintendent and vice-principal of CNMC.

Meanwhile, a team of Calcutta Leather Complex Tanners’ Association (CLCTA), led by secretary Imran Ahmed — the son of state Disaster Management Minister Javed Ahmed Khan — met the families of the three deceased.

“We have collected money from people here and given each of the families Rs 5,000 on behalf of the association. We have also asked the owner of the tannery to extend his cooperation,” Ahmed said.

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