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Six choke to death after entering septic tank in Tamil Nadu

Three of family among those killed in tragedy at residence near Sriperumbudur

Six persons, including a 53-year-old shop-keeper and his two young sons, died of asphyxiation in the septic tank of a house in a village near Sriperumbudur in Kancheepuram district.

The police identified the deceased as Krishnamoorthi, 53, his two sons, Kannan, 23 and Karthik, 21, Paramasivam, 31, Lakshmi- kandan, 35, and Shradha Bhai, 28.

According to the police, Krishnamoorthi ran a shop just outside his home in Selvaperumal Nagar near Sriperumbudur. He had engaged a few conservancy workers to clean and repair the septic tank on Tuesday morning. The workers left after completing their task before noon, and Krishnamoorthi went inside the tank to check whether the work had been done properly. He lost consciousness after inhaling poisonous gases and fell down inside the tank.

Sons jump in

His sons, realising their father had fainted, jumped in to rescue him. They too felt uncomfortable and collapsed. On seeing them fall, the family’s tenant Paramasivam, Lakshmikandan, a worker in a gas agency and a migrant worker Shradha Bhai who had come to the shop to buy something, tried to rescue the three, and climbed in.

But all of them were asphyxiated by the noxious fumes, the police said.

Finding the six trapped, the passersby and other neighbours alerted 108 ambulance service and police.

Fire and Rescue Services personnel who rushed to the spot on information, found the six lying motionless inside the tank. They lifted them out only to find that all of them were dead. The bodies were sent to the Government General Hospital in Sriperumbudur.

“The victims succumbed to inhalation of toxic gas. We have registered a case of unnatural death,” said Kanchipuram SP Santhosh Hadimani.

Ramachandran, a relative of Krishnamoorthi said, “After my brother who got into the tank fell unconscious, his older son first entered the pit. When both did not come out, my sister-in-law Latha rushed to the first floor where the younger one was sleeping and woke him up. He rushed to the pit and also fainted inside. A tenant, a person who came to the shop and a wayfarer, all who went to rescue them were trapped and died. The workers who came to clean and do the repairs were fine, and my brother just went to check if the work was done well. What a shocking tragedy!”