Karachi, January 17, 204 – In a heart-wrenching incident that has shaken the local community, two sanitary workers tragically lost their lives while attempting to clean a blocked sewage line near a residential apartment in the bustling neighborhood of Gulistan-e-Jauhar. The unfortunate accident took place within the jurisdiction of the Sharea Faisal Police Station.
Volunteers from Sindh Emergency Rescue 1122 responded to the emergency and were able to recover the bodies of the deceased workers. They were immediately transferred to Jinnah Hospital for the necessary legal procedures. The incident has highlighted the often-overlooked dangers faced by sanitary workers in their line of duty.
According to the Union President of Zeeshan Apartment and Crescent View in Gulistan-e-Jauhar Block 13, the residents had previously lodged multiple complaints about the sewage blockage to the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) helpline. However, their pleas for assistance remained unanswered for five days, leading to sewage water encroaching into their homes.
As a last resort, the residents, compelled by the urgency of the situation, hired private sweepers to address the problem. This decision, though taken in desperation, led to the unfortunate event. Raja Tariq, the Station House Officer (SHO) of Sharea Faisal, reported that one of the sweepers, while attempting to clear the blockage, slipped and fell into the sewer. In a tragic turn of events, the second worker also fell into the sewer while trying to rescue his colleague, resulting in both workers drowning.
One of the victims has been identified as Sadiq, but the identity of the second worker remains unknown. The local community has expressed deep sorrow over the loss of these workers, who were simply trying to earn a living under hazardous conditions.
Faisal, a sub-engineer from the Water and Sewerage Board, clarified the sequence of events leading up to this tragedy. He mentioned that the residential apartment union did file a complaint last Friday. However, the availability of cleaning vehicles was hindered due to the weekend, delaying immediate action. The union was assured that a vehicle would be dispatched on Monday. By then, however, the situation had aggravated, prompting the residents to take matters into their own hands.
This incident has sparked a conversation about the safety measures and working conditions of sanitary workers in Karachi. It also raises questions about the responsiveness and efficiency of emergency services and city utilities. The community mourns the loss of the workers and calls for more stringent safety protocols and quicker response times to prevent such tragedies in the future.