Pakistan News

ADC, TMO record statements in manhole deaths case

ADC, TMO record statements in manhole deaths case

MUZAFFARGARH: The chief sanitary inspector and seven supervisors who were booked in manhole deaths case ‘disappeared’ on Sunday and didn’t record their statements before the four-member chief minister inspection team (CMIT).

The team visited Muzaffargarh on Sunday and recorded statements of Additional District Collector Usman Khalid, TMO Mohammad Afzal, and Chief Officer Mohammad Saleem Bukhari while Chief Sanitary Inspector Saifullah and others didn’t appear before CMIT and their cell phones were powered off.

On Saturday, four sanitary workers died after inhaling toxic fumes while as many others fell unconscious while cleaning sewerage on Jhang Road.

The CMIT comprising Director Khwaja Imran Safdar, Chief Enigneer Chaudhry Bashir Ahmad, Akbar Ali and Ahmed Shoaib took into custody TMA record.

An official said the manhole had been closed for years but Chief Sanitary Inspector Saifullah and ADC Usman Khalid allegedly forced the workers to clean it.

Several sanitary workers said Saifullah forced the eight workers to clean the sewer line and soon after entering the pipeline they became unresponsive. Their colleagues found Abid, Amir, Allah Yar and Akmal dead while four others were unconscious and were admitted to Nishtar Hospital, Multan.

On Sunday, the funeral prayers for the four deceased were offered. Later, a number of sanitary workers blocked roads for hours and held a meeting with the DCO, demanding dismissal from service of the responsible.

City police station had already registered a case against TMO Afzal, sanitary chief Saifullah and others.

The DCO said he had also formed an inquiry team comprising EDOs of community development and finance and DSP city which will submit its report within three days.

Disregard to workplace safety had claimed lives of eight workers during digging of an electric pole near Turkish Colony last year.

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2015

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