CHENNAI: A sewage collection chamber being built by the Metro Water Board claimed the life of a 62-year-old man on Monday when he accidentally slipped into the 20-foot deep sump while walking past it. The victim, Nagaiah, a native of Andhra Pradesh, had come to the city recently to visit his son Thirupathaiya. He was returning around 8.30 pm after visiting a nearby grocery shop when he slipped into the sump. The under-construction sump is in the middle of a street in Sabari Nagar in Mangadu.
While police said they have registered a case of causing death due to negligence, the Mangadu police said they are yet to name any official or the contractor as accused. Metro Water officials did not comment when contacted by Express. “We have sent the body for autopsy. Based on further investigations, we will decide is there any negligence that led to the accident,” said inspector Mathialagan, who is investigating the case.
The board is constructing underground sewers in the area, which is one of the latest included in Corporations limits. A nearly 20-foot deep sump, which will act as a sewage collection point, is being constructed in Sabari Nagar. The inner wall has been recently built.
The police said the contractors have placed barricades around the sump. “There is a little space for people to pass by and mostly the local residents avoid this street since the work began. But apparently since the victim is new to the locality and it was dark, he took that street,” said a police officer.
From the circumstances, police said Nagaiah had tried to cross the stretch on the little space on the roadsides when he slipped and fell into the tank. He suffered a head injury and died on the spot.
Meanwhile, a statement from the Metro Water Board claimed that the victim fell into the chamber when he was trying to avoid the two-wheelers passing by along the stretch. It said the victim, in an effort to avoid the vehicles, pushed the barricades placed around the chamber. “The barricades collapsed and the pedestrian fell into the 5-metre deep chamber and died,” said the statement. Firefighters and police recovered the body. The victim’s son Thirupathaiya is a sanitary worker in the city.