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Supervisor Held As 5 Men Suffocate to Death While Cleaning Sewer

The workers at DLF Capital Green were forced to enter the sewage tank without any protective gear or equipment.

Updated
India
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The Delhi government Monday ordered a probe and the national human rights body sought a report from the Delhi chief secretary and the police commissioner after five people died due to asphyxiation while cleaning a septic tank at DLF Green Apartments in west Delhi's Moti Nagar area.

The Delhi Police on Monday arrested a supervisor in connection with the incident.

Labour Minister Gopal Rai asked the labour commissioner to submit a probe report within three days. He announced Rs 10-lakh compensation to the family of each victim. The incident reportedly occurred on Sunday, 9 September.

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Around 3 pm, the staff of tower P at DLF Capital Green informed the police that five labourers were trapped in a sewage tank in the basement, Deputy Commissioner of Police Monika Bhardwaj said.

The Delhi government on Monday ordered a probe into the death of the labourers. Labour Minister Gopal Rai has directed the probe report to be submitted within three days.

The victims - Sarfaraz, Pankaj, Raja, Umesh and Vishal - were aged between 22 and 30 years. Two died on the spot while the others were declared dead after being brought to the hospital. 

Umesh and Sarfaraz, working in the housekeeping department of the locality, were forced to enter the sewage tank by the contractor after the three others who went before did not come out, according to DCP Bharadwaj.

The contractor did not provide safety equipment to those asked to enter the sewage tank, she said.

According to ANI, Sunita Mishra, the councillor of Ward 99 where the incident took place, has demanded a compensation of Rs. 50 lakh for the families of each of the five workers.

NCSC, NHRC Seeks Action

A National Commission for Scheduled Caste (NCSC) team led by Chairman Ram Shankar Katheria visited the site of incident this evening and asked the Delhi chief secretary and joint commissioner of police to take action against people found guilty of negligence.

“We have given them three days to take action... The principal employer here is the DLF and also the contractor who was hired for the job are responsible for negligence,” NCSC Vice Chairman L Murugan told PTI.

Meanwhile, the NHRC issued notices to the Delhi chief secretary and the police commissioner, demanding a detailed report in the matter. It said the right to life of five innocent persons has been violated "due to negligence by the authorities and the contractor concerned".

“We would also like to know about the action taken against the authorities responsible in the matter along with measures taken for relief and rehabilitation of the kin of the deceased persons,” the NHRC said in a statement.

The commission said it has been emphasising to the authorities that they should provide safety gear to workers to avoid fatal accidents.

(With inputs from IANS, PTI and ANI)

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