Men spared sewage drain death

2010-10-25 19:15

Pretoria - Two workers were rescued from a gas-contaminated sewage drain they were attempting to unblock in the Pretoria CBD on Monday, paramedics said.

It is believed that a man went to help his co-worker who was suffocating beneath the sewage drain at the intersection of Potgieter and Skinner streets around 09:30, Netcare911 spokesperson Chris Botha said.

However, both were overcome by the gas and collapsed.

Paramedics and fire-fighters called to the scene used breathing apparatus and ropes to enter the drain and rescue the pair, said Botha.

They were removed to the road side, where one of them was resuscitated and placed on a ventilator.

Tshwane fire station spokesperson Johan Pieterse said the men were not wearing full protective gear as required by law when they entered the manhole.

He said one of the men was taken to Eugene Marais hospital in a serious condition while the other was critical.