3 die in Panvel manhole: FIRs registered against Cidco, contractor

A day after a contractor and two labourers died inside a manhole in Kalundre, around 3km from Panvel, while cleaning it, the Panvel city police have registered an FIR against the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) administration and the contractor for alleged negligence.

On Wednesday, the labourers, Santosh Waghmare and Praful Vedak, lost their consciousness while cleaning the 20-feet deep manhole, most likely after inhaling toxic fumes, police and fire brigade officials said. The contractor, Vilash Mhaskar, 55, who worked for Cidco, then entered to help them, but also collapsed inside it.

They were declared dead in a city hospital.

According to the post-mortem report of the deceased’s bodies, the men died out of suffocation.

Nilesh Rajput, sub-inspector, Panvel city police station, said, “Firstly, Mhaskar did not take precautionary measure by providing safety guard to the labourers. Secondly, the Cidco administration should also have been concerned about the safety of the people who work for them. We have booked both the contractor and the Cidco administration under sections 304a (causing death by negligence) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.”

The officer added the police will find out the Cidco officers responsible for the incident and take legal action against them.

Priya Ratambe, public relations officer of Cidco said, “By registering the FIR, the police are doing their duty. Cidco has also started an internal inquiry after the accident and it will take some time to find out who was actually at fault.”

The second labourer, 25-year-old Vedak, a native of Odisha, was identified on Thursday. “The deceased’s bodies were handed over to their families after the post-mortem was conducted at Panvel sub-divisional hospital,” Rajput said.

Dr Nagnath Yempalle medical superintendent of the hospital said, “We have sent their viscera and blood samples to the forensic lab in Kalina for further analysis. The analysis of their blood samples will reveal if there was any poisonous element inside the manhole.”

First Published: Jan 11, 2019 00:52 IST

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