TOXIC gas from an underground sewer killed three workers in a horrific incident at a worksite in Eker yesterday afternoon. A Bahraini, an Indian and a Pakistani were working at the site in West Eker near the GPIC Club when they were overcome by the gas coming out of the under-repair sewer at around 3pm, police sources told the GDN.
One of the men - 54-year-old C B Seejan, from Kerala, India - was working inside the sewer when he felt short of breath.
He shouted across to his two colleagues for help. Pakistani Bishlakher Khan, 32, jumped inside to rescue him.
The sources said when Mr Khan also felt suffocated, 26-year-old Bahraini Ali Abdulla also jumped inside to help the two men.
Soon after that, he too collapsed.
A passer-by who saw Mr Abdulla jumping in to help his colleagues raised an alarm after which Civil Defence was called to the scene.
The three men were declared dead at the scene and their bodies were moved to Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) mortuary after investigations.
SMC Accident and Emergency department chief resident Dr P V Cheriyan said the men probably died of quick and excessive inhalation of carbon monoxide (CO).
"This is a lethal gas and kills very quickly," he said.
He said while gases from a sewer could be extremely foul smelling, these could be harmless. He said, however, only an investigation would reveal what actually happened.
A Labour Ministry official said it seemed the men were working without proper safety equipment and had no gas masks.
He said the ministry would probe and determine who was to blame.
In January this year, four workers had died of CO poisoning at their living quarters in Hamad Town.
The men never woke up after lighting a wood fire in an empty paint drum in the room they shared before going to bed.
Colleagues discovered their bodies when they failed to show up for work.