At least six men, including five tehshil municipal administration workers, drowned in a sewer in Chak Khokhran on Monday. They were cleaning and repairing drainage pumps.
The drowning occurred at the disposal station and water works in Satellite Town.
Chief Sanitary Inspector Muhammad Rasheed told The Express Tribune that the tehsil municipal administration had established sewerage well near Chak Khokhran, where motor pumps had been installed for the discharge of sewerage water.
He said on receiving a complaint by the residents of the about damaged motor pump, three workers were sent to repair it. He said they reported that the pump was clogged and requested that some more workers be sent to restore its operation.
Rasheed said two more workers were then sent to help them.
During the repair of the shaft of water pump, he said, one of the pipes bursts. Two of the workers, Umar Hayat and Sunny, lost their balance and fell into the well.
He said the rest, Akram Javed, Amjad and Muhamnmad Boota jumped in to rescue their colleagues, but all of them drowned.
A passer-by, who could not be indentified, heard them scream and informed Rescue 1122. He also tried to help them and was drowned.
Before the police and the rescue teams reached the scene, the men had died. Their bodies were pulled out after a three-hour operation and send to the district headquarters hospital.
Following the incident, families of the deceased and some TMA workers gathered out side the DHQ hospital and protested against the TMA for not making appropriate arrangements for the safety of the workers.
They said had there been proper equipment, the accident wouldn’t have happened.
TMA Administrator (wells) Wali Muhammad told The Express Tribune that a team had been constituted to investigate the incident. He said it would be supervised by the tehsil municipal officer, he said.
The team has also been directed to suggest measures to secure the life of workers working on the sites.
He said preliminary inquiry suggested that it was an accident. However, he said, if the incident was a result of negligence by any officer, the administration will take appropriate action.
He said the administration was considering requesting the government for compensation payments for the families of the deceased workers.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2012.
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