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Bengaluru: Questions aplenty as three labourers died, 16 others fell sick after consuming contaminated water

Day after three people died after consuming contaminated water at a construction site, BBMP took 3 water samples to test for cholera bacteria; autopsy reports of two dead are awaited, body of one of t

Published: 01st January 2018 02:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st January 2018 01:59 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

Day after three people died after consuming contaminated water at a construction site, BBMP took 3 water samples to test for cholera bacteria; autopsy reports of two dead are awaited, body of one of the workers cremated without autopsy

BENGALURU: After three labourers died and 16 others fell sick after consuming contaminated water at a labour camp in Sobha Dream Acres construction site in Varthur, investigation is on into what made the labourers sick.Dr Kalpana B, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike medical officer of public health wing, said, “We have taken three samples of water. One from the borewell in Balagere from which Sri Krishna Tanker supplied water to the labour camp, one from the sump where the water was dumped and another from the Sintex tank where the water was pumped into. The samples have been sent to the laboratory in Public Health Institute, KR Circle, to test for cholera bacteria.”

Dr Krishnappa B K, medical officer, Varthur Primary Health Centre, who is coordinating the sanitising efforts and the water sample testing from the Department of Health and Family Welfare, said, “Among the three dead - Shrikanth Sahu (20), Bandhu Nayak (51) and Jithendra (25), Sahu’s autopsy report is awaited while Nayak’s report said the cause of death is respiratory failure. Jithendra was cremated without an autopsy. Clinical diagnosis showed heart attack as cause of death.”

While a few labourers have fled the construction site out of the fear of contracting Cholera, others are drinking boiled water and wearing masks as a precautionary measure
| Nagaraja Gadekal

Among the 19 who fell sick, one Kannayya has been shifted to the ICU in St Philomena’s Hospital while Akkur Behra is being treated in the ICU of St John’s Hospital. Pappu Bairyranjan (20) is being treated in the same hospital for cholera. Krishnappa said, “While Kannayya tested negative for cholera the first time, we are awaiting a second test report. There are at least seven cases that have tested positive for cholera.”
Even as the BBMP and the health department officials inspected the site on Sunday for possible environmental factors that led to the labourers falling sick, one could not escape the uncovered open sumps where water was stored.

TWO FIRs FILED

The brother of Srikanth Sahu, one of the labourers who died, has registered a complaint at Varthur Police Station against Sobha Ltd, the manager at the construction site and the contractor. Police said they are yet to question or arrest anyone. The source said they will not investigate other deaths or illnesses as they are under BBMP’s purview.

One Dr Nagesh M has filed a police complaint stating that four unidentified people had locked him in a room. He has alleged that the incident took place when he was treating the labourers at the site. The ailing labourers had asked for oxygen cylinders and an ambulance. But these were unavailable at the spot. This is when four people locked him in a room.

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