Three workers die of suffocation while working inside a manhole.

Police officers question sanitation workers regarding the death of three men. (Source of image: New Indian Express) On June 4, three workers died because of suffocation while cleaning a public sewage system in Ramanagara town. They were engaged in manual scavenging that has been banned since 1993. It is said that during the work, no safety measures were taken. Also, three people, including the contractor, got arrested. They identify the deceased as Manjunath (29), Manjunath (30), and Rajesh (40). They were residents of Kamalanagar (in Basaveshwaranagar, Bengaluru). Police said, "First, Rajesh and Manjunath entered the manhole. Rajesh fell unconscious, and Manjunath shouted for help. Another Manjunath, who was standing near the top, stepped in and he too fell unconscious. Before the fire and emergency sleuths could arrive at the spot, they died in the manhole." Harish Kumar (the contractor) brought the workers to the site of work at around 8 am. Harish was so negligent that he assigned the responsibilities to his assistant and left the place. Normally, a lamp is placed at the bottom of the manhole to check the oxygen level inside. Even that procedure was not followed. Also, there was a delay in reporting the incident to the authorities. The workers were stuck inside for over 30 minutes. They could have survived only if they received help on time. According to police, the Ramanagara Municipal Corporation hired the workers. Police arrested both Harish and Manoj (an assistant of Harish). Following the incident, two government staffers were booked and transferred.

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