In an incident reeking of carelessness, a 45-year-old man who had accidentally slipped into a pothole at an under-construction road in Katni, Madhya Pradesh, was buried alive after careless workers poured molten bituminous material down the crater and ran a dumper over the stretch to level it.
The incident occurred on 18 September but came into light after residents living in the vicinity discovered the man's arm sticking out from the tarred road.
Angry over the issue, the villagers blocked traffic after the battered body was exhumed and sent for autopsy. The blockade was lifted after senior police officials intervened and assured action against the construction company.
District collector Vivek Narwal said that the deceased's family members will be given Rs 50,000 as compensation.
There were no warning signs: Police
- The deceased has been identified as Latori Barman, a resident of Khadra village.
- According to the police, Barman had gone to the Rishi Panchmi fair with his wife. While she stayed back at her parent's house, he returned to his village after a brief halt at a liquor shop.
- In a Times of India report, a police officer said, "It was dark and there were no warning signs. He would have been walking in an inebriated condition when he fell into the pit between Udlana and Hata village and lost consciousness. Traffic had been restricted on the stretch as the pit occupied more than half the road."
- Heavy machines were being used for the road construction work. "Workers must not have noticed him while filling the pothole with bitumen," said the officer.
- The driver of the dumper and a labourer who had filled the pothole have been arrested and the police have booked them for negligence leading to death. Further investigations are on and the workers will be questioned by the police.