PATNA: Two cleanliness staffers of Patna Municipal Corporation were suffocated to death while cleaning a clogged sewage line through a manhole on Wednesday. The lives of two others were saved by the daring efforts of a fireman.
Dipu Chaudhary and Jitendra Paswan, both in their mid-thirties, lost their lives minutes after they went down a manhole near Income Tax Square in Patna. When they did not come out half an hour after going inside the 15-feet-deep manhole, Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) officials and the local police started efforts to bring the out. Two other cleanliness staffers of PMC, who went into the manhole to save them, fell unconscious as they were affected by the poisonous gas in the sewer.
The fire service was called in and Pawan Kumar, a fireman, went into the manhole and brought out the two unconscious men and the two others who had died. Kumar became unconscious immediately after coming out. He and the two other PMC cleanliness workers were rushed to New Gardiner Hospital, where their condition is said to be stable now.
“The fireman’s service has earned praise from many quarters. He went into the manhole even when he failed to carry an oxygen cylinder with him. His service will be recommended for an award,” said PN Rai, the director general of Bihar Fire Services.
PMC commissioner Abhishek Singh announced Rs 1 lakh ex gratia for each of the two dead workers. The cost of treatment of the two PMC workers would be borne by PMC, he said. “An inquiry has been ordered into the incident. It will find out why the lives of the two cleanliness workers could not be saved,” said Singh.