Three sewage cleaning workers died in a manhole near Panvel on Wednesday evening after they entered the pit for the ritual cleaning. The incident occurred at 5.30 pm in Kalundare village near Panvel. The police have registered an Accidental Death Report (ADR) in the matter and an investigation is underway.
According to police sources, two of the three deceased men have been identified as Vilas Mhaskar, 55, a resident of Kalundare village, and Santosh Waghmare, who lived in a neighbouring village. The police are still trying to establish the identity of the third deceased. Waghmare and his colleague had entered the manhole on Wednesday afternoon to clean the drainage pipe. However, when the duo did not return till evening, Mhaskar, the project supervisor, began to search.
When all three failed to turn up, the locals alerted the police and their bodies were retrieved from the manhole. Sources said the trio was immediately rushed to a civic-run hospital in Panvel, where they were declared dead. Doctors said prima facie the cause of death seems to be inhalation of poisonous gases inside the manhole.
The police are now awaiting the post-mortem reports to ascertain the exact cause of death. Sunil Lokhande, deputy commissioner of police, Panvel City said, “We are investigating the matter and will book the accused party. Meanwhile, an ADR has been registered.”