By Donald Kiirya
JINJA - Two workers of National Water and Sewage Corporation (NWSC) died from suffocation inside a manhole while attempting to unblock a sewer line.
Bosco Atube and Noah Mugoda died while on duty on Friday.
They were part of a NWSC team working on a blocked sewer line at Industrial Village in Jinja town.
Jinja District Police Commander Apollo Kateeba tried to reconstruct the events leading to the deaths.
One of the victims, Atube, went down the 15-metre-deep manhole and suffocated inside, he said. Then the other, Mugoda, took a descent the same route to try and rescue his colleague, but he too suffocated to death.
Police got to the scene after being notified of the incident by locals, who later worked with the police to lift the bodies out of the fatal opening.
The corpses were moments later driven off to Jinja Referral Hospital’s mortuary.
Police said it would ask doctors at the health facility to carry out an autopsy on the bodies to establish the actual cause of death.
However, commander Kateeba suspected that the two men inhaled toxic fumes inside the drainage line.
When the bodies were hauled out of the manhole, it was immediately clear the victims had not worn any special protective gear like masks.
Kateeba appealed to the water and sewerage company to provide special protective gear to its staff especially those who have to work inside sewage lines.
He also felt that local leaders like area Local Council (LC) chairmen should be notified of any NWSC activity in their particular areas beforehand.
The area leader, John Murashi expressed his shock about the incident. He said he and the residents were shocked and saddened by the death of the two workers.