Two die of suffocation while cleaning waste tank in Kozhikode

Though they were rushed to the Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, the duo was declared brought dead.
Image used for representation
Image used for representation

KOZHIKODE: Two persons died of suffocation while attempting to clean the waste tank of a hotel at Iringadanpalli near Kovoor in Kozhikode on Friday. The deceased are Ashokan and Rineesh, both residents of Kinalur in Koorachund.

According to eyewitnesses, the incident occurred around 4pm. Ashokan was the first to enter the nearly 10-feet-deep waste tank located inside the hotel that has remained closed for over a week. However, he fainted immediately. In an attempt to rescue him, Rineesh entered the tank but he too fell unconscious.

After being alerted, the fire and rescue services personnel reached the spot and took both the men out of the tank. Though they were rushed to the Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, the duo was declared brought dead. “We reached the spot within 15 minutes of getting information. The tank is very narrow and hardly one person can enter it. Garbage has been reportedly lying in the tank for years and this might have produced poisonous chemicals, which resulted in the duo’s death,” said Robin Varghese, an officer with the Kozhikode city fire station.

Detailed probe on into death of workers

A preliminary examination by doctors suggested that the workers might have got exposed to lethal levels of harmful gases formed in the tank. This coupled with lack of oxygen in the enclosed space led to their death.

According to local residents, the hotel, named Ammas, was sold to a new owner recently. The former owner, a woman, had hired Ashokan and Rineesh to clean the waste tank before handing over the hotel space to the building owner.

Authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident, focusing on the safety protocols.

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