CHENNAI: Three men, including a hotel employee, were asphyxiated while cleaning a septic tank at a hotel near Sriperumbudur in Kancheepuram district on Wednesday. The victims, Maari (34), Murugesan (35) and Ravi (32), were involved in cleaning the septic tank at Hudson Hotel on the Pondur Bypass on Chengalpattu High Road.
Murugesan and Maari were contract employees and residents of Nemilichery near Avadi. Ravi, the hotel’s electrician, was supervising the cleaning work around 1 pm when the tragedy struck, the police said.
“After cleaning the sewer, Murugesan went into the 10-foot-deep tank. As he reached about 7 feet, he cried out and fell unconscious. Maari followed Murugesan and met with the same fate. Ravi, who witnessed the incident, called for help, but before people could reach, he too went in,” said an investigating officer.
Two other workers from the contract company, Sekar and Kumar, fainted as they were standing close to the tank and inhaled the toxic fumes.
Fire and safety personnel went in using safety equipment and pulled the men out. All three were declared dead at the Sriperumbudur Government Hospital. Sekar and Kumar are undergoing treatment in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital.
Over 200 died this way in State
At least 200 people were estimated to have died in Tamil Nadu due to manual scavenging since 1993. Most deaths were due to failure to use safety gear to prevent inhalation of toxic fumes that often gets formed in septic tanks