A day after three labourers and a sub-contractor died after they “inhaled a gaseous compound” inside a “rainwater harvesting pit” in Ghitorni, police have arrested the supervisor of the building and a gardener for “negligence”. However, police said the owner of the building and the contractor who hired the men — who are mentioned in the FIR — are yet to be arrested.
Additional DCP (south) Chinmoy Biswal said the two accused have been identified as supervisor Niranjan Singh and gardener Richpal Singh. “Both were at the spot when the incident took place. However, they did not ensure the safety of the workers… They insisted that the men enter the pit without wearing any safety gear,” he said.
The deceased men were identified as sub-contractor Swarn Singh (45), Deepu Dubey (28), Anil (23) and Baldwinder alias Billu (32). Singh’s son Jaspal had fainted inside the pit and was admitted to hospital.
Based on Jaspal Singh’s complaint, a case under IPC sections 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and 34 (common intention) was lodged at Vasant Kunj South police station against the property owner J K Mehta, staff and the builder.
According to police, the PCR call came from Mehta Farm, where a building is under construction. The ‘rainwater harvesting pit’ is next to a small apartment complex, with residents saying it is used to recharge groundwater. However, police are probing the possibility of a sewerage line also opening into the recharge pit.
Sources said on the instructions of the owner, Richpal called Swarn Singh and asked him to get labourers to clean up the pit. Three of the men went inside the pit after the fourth, who had initially entered to clean the pit, stopped responding to calls made by the others. All of them lost consciousness, following which the fire brigade and police were called in. The men were declared brought dead at the hospital.