Four workers from Assam were asphyxiated while cleaning a tank in a textile washing unit in Tiruppur on Sunday. Last month, six persons were asphyxiated in Kancheepuram while cleaning a septic tank. The police said the Assamese workers ventured into the 20-foot-tank one after the other to rescue the trapped person.
The police said the incident took place at a unit run by Jayakumar at Karuppa Goundan Palayam. The unit has employed more than 10 persons and had not renewed the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) licence that expired a month ago.
According to the police, the effluents generated during the washing processes were cleared from the tank on weekends.
On Sunday afternoon, when a worker Farooq Ahamed, 22, entered the tank, he fainted after inhaling the noxious fumes.
Three other workers — Anwar Hussain, 24, his brother Dilwar Hussain, 23, and Abu, 22 — went into the tank one after the other and fainted. They were pulled out by other workers. Three workers died by the time they were taken out. Dilwar Hussain died while being taken to Government Hospital. All four were from Cachar district of Assam.
The Revenue Divisional Officer who inspected the washing unit told mediapersons that the department would check whether the facility had followed all the norms mandated by the TNPCB and Tiruppur Municipal Corporation. Moreover, the workers were cleaning the tank on a holiday. Tiruppur City Police Commissioner Sanjay Kumar told The Hindu that the owner of the washing unit was booked under various sections of the IPC. “The unit will be sealed tomorrow as it was running without renewing the TNPCB licence. All efforts will be made to get compensation for the deceased,” he said. Three workers, Anamul, Majid, and Sirajuddin, fainted while taking out the four workers, but their condition was stable.