Four sanitation workers of a private company died of suffocation while cleaning a water tank in a frozen food processing unit in Vadodara on Sunday evening, police said.
The incident took place in the intermediary water treatment tank, which is around 10 feet high and succeeds the aeration tank of the sewage treatment plant of the factory, owned by Global Gourmet Private Limited, in Padra tehsil.
“One of the four staff members went inside the tank after water was pumped out. But he fainted after going inside. Three others went inside to help him, but due to lack of oxygen, they also fainted. We then sent people with breathing masks to pull them out. But one of them had already died by then,” said chief engineer of the company, adding that the three others died on their way to a hospital.
The deceased have been identified as Kamlesh Jadav (24) and Vinod Jadav (25) from Vedaj village near Jambusar, Manish Padhiyar (23) from Dhanoli village in Valsad, and Kiran Solanki (22) from Abhor village in Padra.
The families of the victims refused to take the bodies, demanding compensation from the company. The protests continued till late Sunday night. “The company is negotiating with the families and they are yet to decide if they have to go ahead with a case of accidental death or file an FIR. Once they decide, we will take the further course of action,” said Inspector N M Rathore of Vadu police station.