Firemen were not wearing masks in Mumbai drowning incident: Civic official

The two firemen who drowned in a well near Chakki Naka in Kalyan (East) on Thursday while trying to save three others trapped inside, were not wearing masks as they did not know the water was toxic. Moreover, usually, in the cases of well-rescue operations, firemen are not required to wear masks, said Sudhakar Kulkarni, fire officer, Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC).

The incident took place on Thursday when sanitation worker Kamlesh Yadav, 35, went to clean the well belonging to Rahul Goswami, 32, at Chakki Naka. When Yadav did not return, Rahul jumped in to rescue him. Seeing him, his father, Gunwant Goswami, 56, also jumped. Later, the two firemen, Anant Shelar, 48, and Pramod Waghchoure, 44, also jumped in to rescue the three. They got trapped and died. Although it is suspected that the five men died owing to toxic gas, the firemen were not wearing masks as the locals had told the fire brigade that the men were trapped inside owing to electric current. For safety, the power supply was cut off, and the firemen entered the well. “The fireman are well-versed with rescue operation in water but we were not aware the water is toxic. They did not wear mask as usually during rescue operations inside wells, masks are not required,” said Kulkarni. “Shelar and Waghchoure were always ready to rush to the spot. They loved their jobs. The department and their families are in shock,” he said.

First Published: Nov 02, 2018 01:22 IST

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