TIRUPATI: Two more people, who had inhaled toxic gas when they went into a manhole in Tirupati, died while they were undergoing treatment. On Wednesday, Arumugam (32) - a driver of the Municipal Corporation of Tirupati (MCT) who operated sewage cleaning vehicles - went into a manhole at Vaikuntapuram to clear a blockage.
Hours after he fell unconscious on inhaling hazardous gas in the manhole, he died while undergoing treatment. Mahesh, a 32-year-old sewage cleaner, and Lakshman (36) - a bystander - also went inside the manhole to rescue Arumugam. They, too, fell unconscious after inhaling the toxic gas.
Mahesh was undergoing treatment at Ruia hospital and was put on life support. He died on Wednesday night while Lakshman, who had migrated to Tirupati 14 years ago from Macherial in Telangana in search of work, breathed his last at SVIMS Hospital around 12:30 pm on Thursday.
Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD) minister Audimulapu Suresh sought a report on the measures taken for the safety of sewage workers. He questioned officials on the availability of machinery and protective kits to underground drainage workers in all the urban local bodies.
He asserted that strict action would be taken against officials found neglecting their duties. Further, Suresh assured all possible aid to the kin of the deceased. Tirupati MLA Bhumana Karunakar Reddy and MCT Commissioner Anupama Anjali handed over Rs 5 lakh cheque as ex gratia to the kin of two MCT workers.
They also promised to offer jobs in the civic body to one member each from both families on compassionate grounds. The MLA, after discussing with the district administration, sanctioned Rs 5 lakh ex gratia from the CM Relief Fund to Lakshman’s family, as he sacrificed his life in a bid to save the lives of the two municipal workers.