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Four die while cleaning septic tank in Chennai hotel
Four men are alleged to have died of asphyxiation while cleaning the septic tank of a private hotel on the outskirts of Chennai, India, on Tuesday morning. A case of unnatural death has been registered.
Officials say that the four, who were contract labourers with the civic body who had been engaged by the hotel's owner, started cleaning the septic tank - along with a hotel employee - at around 09:00. The hotel employee was at the mouth of the tank while the contractors were inside.
The four contractors who died have been identified as Vel Murugan, (29), Rajesh (25), Saravanan (30) and Kumar (48). The hotel employee, who collapsed at the scene, was taken to hospital where his condition is said to be stable.
The deceased - who were reportedly engaged in the work for Rs 230 (£2.38) a day - have been identified as being from the Scheduled Caste Adi Dravidar community, who are traditionally manual scavengers. They lived at Kannagi Nagar, a settlement allotted to over 15,000 slum dwellers relocated from city slums over the past decade.
21st January 2016