2 fall dead in manhole
A worker falls to death, a braveheart who tries to rescue him also dies Hyderabad: The state of...
A worker falls to death, a braveheart who tries to rescue him also dies Hyderabad: The state of unpreparedness on the part of civic authorities to handle tragic situations came to light on Saturday when two men fell into a 30-feet deep manhole at Khanamet near Hi-Tech City and lost their lives. According to the V V Manohar deputy municipal commissioner (DMC) Serilingampally circle, the incident took place at 12.30 pm when Satyam, 43, a contract worker in sanitation wing of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation fell in the manhole while attempting to clean it. Locals who noticed it raised an alarm and a passerby in order to rescue Satyam jumped into the manhole. The 20-year-old- brave youth, later identified as Anjaneyulu, also died as the manhole was too deep. Immediately on knowing about the incident, the locals informed the police and the municipal staff. No protective gear Surprisingly, questions are being raised about how could the sanitation worker was working alone at the manhole. Because according to a GHMC official, the silt in the deep manholes is usually cleaned using machines. And as per the rules, even if the manhole is to be cleaned manually around five to six people are engaged in such difficult work, the official said. It is yet to be known if Satyam had volunteered to try to clean it or if he was asked by any official to do so. No coordination among departments While the incident took place around 12.30 pm and the fire brigade was informed around 12.50 pm. One fire engine was rushed to the spot, but it was sent without any oxygen masks clearly showing that the department did not understand the gravity of the situation. The fire engine could do nothing lacking oxygen masks or necessary equipment to handle the situation and another fire engine was sent from Krishnanagar equipped, now with oxygen masks but the fire personnel decided against entering the manhole as they were not trained for such situations. Finally the civic authorities, the police and fire brigade men had to use a primitive method to fish out the bodies. They tied some nylon ropes with big iron hooks and threw them into manhole hoping that it would get hooked to the clothes or bodies. After almost a three-hour struggle around 3.30pm, the hooks got stuck to the dead bodies in such a way that they could be pulled out from the manhole. The bodies of the deceased Satyam, a resident of Hyderabad and Anjaneyulu, a native of Mahabubnagar district, have been sent for post mortem to Osmania General Hospital. It is said that they died due to suffocation. Ex-gratia The members of the recognised employees union, GHMEU, who rushed to the spot, demanded an ex-gratia of Rs 20 lakh and threatened to resort to agitation if the demand was not accepted. Meanwhile, the civic body announced an ex-gratia of one-lakh each to the kin of the deceased besides offering an outsourcing job to the daughter of the contract worker. The Telugu Desam floor leader Singireddy Srinivas Reddy demanded an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the deceased. Talking to media, he said, "There is no dearth of funds in the Corporation. No one takes objection to spending of crores of rupees for development works to beautify the city. However, accidental deaths while on duty should be considered more compassionately, and due financial help should be extended to the affected families," he added. Oxygen masks pricey Meanwhile sources in fire department informed that each oxygen mask unit consisting of mask and a cylinder costs around Rs 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh. Hence, few fire stations in the city are equipped with oxygen mask facilities. Leave alone oxygen masks, our fire engines are devoid of a lot of safety equipment that is a must for in emergencies. Emergency services go for a toss Hyderabad: The State Government has been investing crores of rupees in forming an effective emergency management systems meant for attending natural or man-made disasters, but it has miserably failed to provide fire services with important safety gear including oxygen masks. The authorities do not have the right kind of equipment to reach out to and retrieve the bodies from thousands of manholes, where every other day a common man or sanitation worker meets a horrific end by either a watery grave or asphyxiation. When the police on Saturday was informed about two persons falling into a deep manhole and their bodies still stuck in it, they alerted the fire brigade which reached the spot sand oxygen masks. Another one rushed to the spot with oxygen masks after almost one hour, but now the fire brigade had no trained personnel to enter such manholes � deathtraps without protective gear. The helpless officials had to use a primitive method like tying nylon ropes with iron rods having sharp hooks at one end to pierce the clothes of the deceased to bring them out. All this effort was glaringly put in public view showing the government's failure in tackling emergencies.