MANGALURU: Five labourers from West Bengal suffocated to death at a fish processing unit in the Special Economic Zone (MSEZ) on the outskirts of Mangaluru city on Sunday. The deceased have been identified as Mohammed Samirulla, Umar Farooq, Nizamuddin Ali, Mirajul Islam and Sarafath Ali. While four of them were in their 20s, one was said to be 16-year-old, which is being verified. Three other labourers, Hasan Ali, Karibulla and Aftal Malik, who took ill are being treated at a private hospital and are out of danger.
The incident occurred around 6 pm on Sunday when Nizamuddin went in to clean a 20-foot-deep waste water tank at Sri Ulka LLB, a factory that exports processed fish to Russia, China and other countries.
He reportedly got stuck in the slush in the tank and cried out for help. Other labourers who were around rushed to his help. They not only failed to rescue him, but two others, Samirulla and Farooq, also got stuck in the slush and died. Five other labourers who entered the tank were rushed to a private hospital, where Mirajul and Sarafath, died on Monday morning.
Company’s production manager held
Mangaluru Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar said the cause of death will be known only after the postmortem reports are out. He said all the deceased were fasting as it is the Ramzan month. The factory has been shut, and the Bajpe police have filed a case under various sections of IPC and arrested the company’s production manager Ruby Joseph, area manager Kubher Gade, supervisor Anwar and labour safety supervisor Farooq.