CHENNAI: Two workers who were involved in cleaning a septic tank at a gated community in Perungudi inhaled poisonous gases and asphyxiated to death on Wednesday night. The deceased were identified as P Periyasamy (38) and D Dhatchanamoorthy (38) from Pallikaranai.
They were employees of a cleaning company in Thoraipakkam, said police. The gated community at Kamaraj Nagar regularly employed the duo for cleaning the septic tank over the past five years. The men used trucks to empty the tanks and later entered inside to clean it, said the police.
“On Wednesday, the men started cleaning septic tanks attached to each block by 1 pm and by 6.30 pm opened another tank. They had decided to call it a day after cleaning that tank,” said police. Periyasamy opened the 20-ft deep tank and upon entering fainted.
Seconds later Dhatchanamoorthy, who did not notice Periyasamy fainting, also entered the tank and suffered the same fate. Saravanan, the supervisor from the private cleaning company, alerted the secretary and manager of the apartment. On information, fire rescue personnel from Perungudi rushed to the spot and rescued Periyasamy and Dhatchanamoorthy.
While Periyasamy was declared dead by the ambulance crew, Dhatchanamoorthy was rushed to a private hospital nearby, where he died at 8.30pm. Thoraipakkam police registered a case under IPC sections 336 (negligent act endangering human life), 304 (a) (causing death due to negligence) and also Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavenger and their Rehabilitation act, 2013. They arrested S Krishnan (61), secretary of the apartment and S Saravanan (44) , supervisor of the company.