Seven, including four sanitation workers, die of suffocation while cleaning septic tank of Vadodara hotel; owner booked for negligence

Seven people died in Gujarat's Vadodara while cleaning a septic tank on Friday. They died of suffocation after inhaling toxic fumes while cleaning the septic tank outside a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi taluk. The victims include four sanitation workers and three hotel employees.

Hassan Abbas Bhoraniya, the owner of the Darshan Hotel, located 30 kilometres from Vadodara city, has been booked under charges of culpable homicide and causing death due to negligence, The Times of India reported. The case was registered at the Dabhoi Police station. Bhoraniya is absconding at the moment.

 Seven, including four sanitation workers, die of suffocation while cleaning septic tank of Vadodara hotel; owner booked for negligence

Representational image of manual scavenging in India. News18

"All seven were dead as the pressure of gas was high in the tank. We could bring their bodies out," said Nikunj Azad of the Vadodara Fire and Emergency Services.

The incident took place shortly after midnight, and the bodies of the seven victims were pulled out three hours later, the police said. Their bodies were handed over to the kin after an autopsy.

"When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation," said district collector Kiran Zaveri.

The Gujarat government has announced financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of the deceased. It said it has directed the police to take strict action against the hotel owner.

The seven victims have been identified as Ashok Harijan (45), Mahesh Harijan (25), Mahesh Patanwadiya (47), Vijay Chaudhary (22), Brijesh Harijan (23), Ajay Vasava (22) and Sahdev Vasava (22). Patanwadiya, Ashok, Brijesh and Mahesh had been called to clean the septic tank, Chaudhary, Sahdev and Ajay were employees of hotel and were assisting the four, according to The Times of India.

Patanwadiya was the first to enter the hotel's septic tank. When he did not come out or respond for a while, Ashok entered the tank, followed by Brijesh and Mahesh. After none of the four came out, the three hotel staff went in to help the sanitation workers, but they, too, lost consciousness, the police said.

Officers added that the Dabhoi municipality and local police were informed after all seven did not respond from inside the septic tank. The municipality, lacking the necessary equipment, sought help from the Vadodara Fire and Emergency Services. After the bodies were taken out of the tank, a suction tank vehicle of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation cleaned the tank.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jun 15, 2019 14:58:09 IST