CHENNAI: A private contract employee died of asphyxiation and another has been admitted to a hospital in Madhavaram. They were clearing an underground drainage on Tuesday evening. The deceased, Nelson (26), from Tirunelveli, was employed at a private cleaning contract company with Ravikumar (40), of Thanjavur. The duo were staying in Mathanampattu village near Surapattu in Puzhal.
On Tuesday evening, the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) received a complaint that the underground drainage opposite Amma Unavagam on Mariamman Koil Street in Madhavaram was overflowing.
“Around 4 pm, the duo reached the spot and opened the lid to the manhole. Inhaling noxious gas, Nelson and Ravikumar lost consciousness and fell inside the drainage, one after the other,” said a senior police officer.
While the supervisor of the private contract company was not present on the spot, the public informed the police and fire service. The Madhavaram fire and rescue personnel reached the spot and fished out Nelson and Ravikumar. The duo were rushed to the Stanley Government Hospital, where Nelson was declared brought dead. Ravikumar was admitted to the ICU and is unconscious, the police added.
The Madhavaram police have registered a case under sections 304A (Causing death due to negligence) and provisions of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act. The police have detained Prakash (53) and Vinish (33). Meanwhile, a senior Metro Water official said they were to file a complaint against the private contractor.