On Thursday evening, three workers died inside the chimney of a cement factory after a scaffolding structure inside the chimney suddenly collapsed in Gujarat.
Seven workers were reportedly trapped after they got buried under the scaffolding inside the chimney out of which three have been rescued by two teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), India Today reported.
“A metal scaffolding structure was erected inside the chimney to apply a coat of paint. The structure suddenly collapsed when workers were nearly 40 feet above the ground. Six workers are currently trapped inside the chimney under the metal debris of the scaffolding,” India Today quoted District Magistrate AM Sharma.
The incident happened at the Ranavav-based plant of Saurashtra Cement Limited in Gujarat’s Porbandar district. Three of the workers who were rescued alive were later on sent to a hospital for treatment.
Sharma said that an inquiry has been instituted and a complaint will also be registered about the case, The Week reported.
Workers all across the country continue to lose their lives while working under inhumane and highly unsafe conditions wherein the majority of cases the factory owners refuse to provide the workers with any kind of safety gear or compensation.
What is often categorised as an ‘accident’, on a closer look clearly becomes a case of disregard for the lives of the working-class masses on the part of the factory owners and the neo-liberal Indian state.
The NDRF team involved said that the rescue operations started at 11.30 pm on Thursday and concluded after midnight and added that three bodies were recovered by its team and other agencies including the Coastal Guard in a joint operation.
Last year the BJP ruled Union government had brought diluted the existing labour laws compromising the security of workers to pave way for ‘ease of doing business.’
Even when the country along with the entire world was struggling against the COVID29 pandemic, 130 workers died in factory accidents in Gujarat in the first seven months of 2020.
Earlier this year, while responding to a set of queries during Question Hour, Gujarat Labour and Employment Minister Dilip Thakor had said that 421 workers were killed due to negligence or accidents in 322 incidents recorded in the last two years in the BJP ruled state of Gujarat.
Responding to a related question in the same session, Thakor had told the House that the state government does not pay compensation to the kin of the deceased workers in such accident cases, though compensation is paid as per provisions of ESIC Act or Workmen Compensation Act through labour courts, The Economic Times reported.