A 24-year-old sanitation worker died and another sustained injuries after they inhaled toxic fumes while cleaning a sewer without any safety gear in Delhi’s Shahdara area on Sunday, PTI reported.

Police said the incident took place at the CBD ground in Karkardooma. A private contractor had hired five workers to clean a 15-feet-deep sewer. The work to clean the manhole was given by the Delhi Development Authority.

The victim, Ravi, a resident of Sanjay Amar Colony, was the first worker to enter the sewer. When he did not come out after some time, another worker called Sanjay went inside. The other workers called police after both of them failed to come out.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara) Amit Sharma said the incident was reported around 1 pm and officials went to the spot immediately. The two men were stuck inside the sewer, he added.

The police team pulled the workers by using ropes and admitted them to Lok Nayak Hospital. “Ravi was declared brought dead by doctors and Sanjay, whose condition is critical, is undergoing treatment,” Sharma said.

A case was registered at Anand Vihar police station against the private contractor based on a worker’s complaint. Their contractor allegedly told the workers that they would be paid Rs 350 per day for the job.

Police said the contractor is currently absconding and an investigation has been initiated into the matter.

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