Three sanitary workers died while cleaning a manhole in an upmarket residential area here on Saturday. A cab driver who climbed into the manhole to help them lost his life as well.
According to the police, the three workers entered the 25-foot deep manhole in Ayappa Society near Hitec City to clean debris from it. However, they inhaled noxious gases and started losing consciousness. When one of them called for help, the cab driver, who was nearby, tried to help them, but he too inhaled the gases. By the time the police arrived and pulled them out, all four had died.
The deceased sanitary workers were identified as K Satyanarayana, Nagesh Swamy and R Srinivas. They were hired on contract by a sub-contractor of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), Deputy Mayor Fasiuddin Ali said.
The cab driver who tried to rescue them and died was identified as Gangadhar.
The deputy mayor said the manhole was being cleaned of debris which had accumulated after a road was laid alongside. “The manhole is very deep, poisonous gases may have accumulated. The workers did not allow sufficient time for the gases to escape after they opened the cover. As they started losing consciousness, they could not climb out,” he said.
A case has been registered against the sub-contractor for negligence. Police said the original contractor was blacklisted after a man was washed away in June following heavy rains. The GHMC then allocated the works to the sub-contractor.