Bengaluru: Three men died due to asphyxia on Sunday in a 10-feet-deep manhole in which they had descended to unclog it in the city's south-east suburb, a civic official said.
"The incident came to light around noon when the victims did not come out of the manhole they had entered to clear an underground blockage in an apartment's sewage treatment plant," the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) told IANS here.
Two of them suffocated after inhaling toxic gases while the third was found inside the manhole in an unconscious state.
The victims, in mid-thirties, were identified as Mahadevappa, Ramesh and Srinivas.
"Fire brigade personnel retrieved the bodies of Mahadevappa and Ramesh from the manhole while Srinivas was rushed to a private hospital after pulling him out of it as he was breathing then," the official said.
Doctors at the St John's Hospital, however, declared Srinivas dead when he was brought there.
Bengaluru Development Minister K.G. George, who visited the area later, expressed concern over unqualified persons being employed for scavenging work manually.
"I have directed BBMP to inquire and book those responsible for hiring the victims without assessing their eligibility. They were not qualified to enter a manhole, so deep and emitting toxic gases," George told reporters at the spot.
The civic body announced Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the families of each of the victims.