New Delhi, Aug 20 - A man died while cleaning a sewer at a government hospital here on Sunday, while three others were taken ill, the Delhi Fire Service said.
Rishi Pal, 40, Bishan, 30, Kiran Pal, 25, and Sumit, 19, fell unconscious after inhaling poisonous gases from the sewer at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, which was maintained by the local Public Works Department.
While Rishi Pal died, the other three were admitted to hospital, a DFS officer told IANS adding that the incident was reported around 12.30 p.m.
This is the 10th such death in Delhi in barely over a month.
A police officer told IANS that the contractor to whom the work was outsourced was absconding.
Standing outside the hospital Emergency Ward, Sumit said: We didn't have any safety gear for cleaning the sewer.
He said Rishi Pal first went in and they entered the sewer to rescue him after he fell unconscious. Sumit said he, Rishi, and Bishan were 'Valmikis' or Dalits.
Rishi is survived by his wife and three children, including a daughter. One child is still in school. Who'll take care of them now, a relative Anil Kumar wondered.
He said the Delhi government should provide a government job to one of the family members and extend financial help for the marriage of Rishi's daughter.
Rishi Pal's son Aditya, 18, said his father had left home at Welcome area of east Delhi around 8.30 a.m. His contractor called him for work even though it was an off-day, he added.
On August 12, two brothers suffocated to death while cleaning a septic pit at a mall in Shahdara in east Delhi.
On August 6, three persons died after inhaling toxic gases while cleaning a sewer in Lajpat Nagar in south Delhi.
On July 15, four persons died after inhaling poisonous gases as they entered a water harvesting tank in Ghitorni in south Delhi.
In all the four cases, there were no safety equipment for workers.