Bengaluru: The scourge of manual scavenging continues to claim lives with two labourers dying of asphyxiation while cleaning the choked septic tank of a hotel in AECS Layout on Tuesday. With their deaths, the number of workers who have lost their lives while cleaning septic tanks in the city this year alone has risen to five.
The HAL police have arrested manager Ayush Gupta and caretaker Venkatesh of Hotel Yumlok and are on the lookout for its owner, Avinash Gupta.
The labourers, Ramu, 25 and Ravi, 28 of Raichur, who were hired by the hotel to clean the tank, got down to the job at around 4 pm. Ramu entered the tank while Ravi stood outside to collect the waste he was supposed to hand him after cleaning the clogged drain. "Within minutes of Ramu entering the tank, he collapsed. When Ravi did not hear anything from him, he entered the tank and met with the same fate. Both died of suffocation," said the police, adding that the workers were not carrying any safety gear.
On hearing nothing from Ramu or Ravi, Venkatesh, who was present at the spot, informed the hotel manager, who called the fire force.
The two workers were rushed to the Vydehi Hospital in Whitefield where they were declared brought dead.
DCP (Whitefield), Abdul Ahad said that the BBMP health inspector of the area was being questioned as the hotel occupies the basement.
On January 7 this year, three workers had died in a similar manner while cleaning a sewage treatment plant in HSR Layout in the city.