Eight hours after fire officials reached Keshopur drain where three labourers had drowned, they hadn’t been able to enter it from the shallow end. “The flow is strong and the drain is very deep. Till water is diverted, men can’t enter it. Plus it’s not a river, it’s a tunnel, so swimming to conduct the rescue is next to impossible,” fire chief Atul Garg said.
Two men, feared dead, are yet to be found. Fire official Sanjay Tomar said, “A man was pulled out as his body was stuck at the shallow side of the pipeline… our men tried entering with a ladder and breathing apparatus.”
Garg said at least seven fire officials are stationed at manholes with hooks going inside the drain “in case a body gets stuck”.
Tomar said, “We can break the pipeline and ventilate it to release poisonous gases inside… that’s another way to find the bodies.”
In the evening, the rescue team discussed where the bodies could have reached. Fire official Bhupender Prakash said, “At the end of the drain is a water treatment plant, where it’s deeper. We’ve put three stainless steel strainers to stop the bodies from drifting further and lights to locate them.”
By 9 pm, a machine was deployed to break the pipes. “But we don’t know the pipeline as it belongs to the DJB. We need their inputs to figure out where it ends and where the turns are,” said Tomar.