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Man asphyxiated in septic tank at Poonamallee school

In a blatant violation of rules, a private CBSE school deployed manual scavengers to clean a septic tank in which one of them was asphyxiated to death on Saturday evening.

Man asphyxiated in septic tank at Poonamallee school
Representative Image


The deceased, Balamurugan (37), of Maduravoyal and three others, Pradeep, Jagan and Karthi, had been hired by the authorities of Narayana Etechno school on Poonamallee high road in Tiruverkadu to a clean septic tank within the school premises.

After pumping out the sewage water at 6.30 pm, all the four men got into the 15-ft deep underground tank. Balamurugan who was involved in levelling the sludge was hit by poisonous gas emanating from the pit. While he collapsed, the other three men managed to get out of the tank.

The fire control room was alerted and Fire and Rescue Personnel from Poonamallee rushed to the spot. However, they could only retrieve Balamurugan’s body.

On information, Tiruverkadu police rushed to the spot and sent his body to Kilpauk MedicalCollege Hospital for post-mortem. Preliminary inquiries revealed that though the school has been running in a rented premise, it was the school authorities who made the men clean theseptic tank.

A case has been registered and further investigation is on. Police said Balamurugan has two daughters from his first marriage and a son from his second with Rathi.

While manual scavenging is banned and illegal in India, residents opting for manual scavengers are often reported. However, school administration deploying manual scavengers has shocked the authorities.

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