A sewage cleaner died and another is in critical condition, from exposure to toxic gases while cleaning a sewer near Hamza Sugar Mills, Jhatta Bhatta, on Saturday.
Rescue officials said the men were rushed to the Khanpur Tehsil Headquarter Hospital, where one of them died. They said no doctor was immediately available.
The family of the deceased later placed his body on a road and burnt tyres to protest against the doctor’s absence.
Rescue officials said Abdul Sattar and Talib Hussain were cleaning the sewer line near Hamza Sugar Mills, when they fainted and fell in.
Rescue-1122 were called and rushed them to the hospital.
Rescue 1122 Khanpur Shift Incharge Shahid Raza told The Express Tribune that they had tried to revive the patients for 15 minutes.
“When they didn’t regain consciousness, we took them to the Emergency Ward. A doctor came in 10 minutes and checked the patients. Sattar had died by then,” said Raza. He said Hussain’s condition was critical.
Raza also said that no one at the hospital had signed the receiving form, “They said that they were not on duty.”
Sattar’s family and several TMO workers later protested in front of the THQ hospital. They held the doctors and hospital staff responsible for Sattar’s death. They also burnt tyres and blocked traffic for more than four hours.
Khanpur Assistant Commissioner Chaudhry Abdul Ghaffar and TMO Inayatullah then went and spoke to the protesters. Ghaffar said, “We have constituted a team under the supervision of Health EDO Fayyaz Ahmad to conduct an inquiry into the matter.” Strict action would be taken against any doctor found negligent, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2013.