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Worksite manslaughter convicts acquitted on plea

Bahrain News
Mon, 18 Apr 2016


Bahrain: Four men convicted of manslaughter following a worksite tragedy, in which three people choked on toxic gas in a sewer, have been acquitted on appeal.

A Bahraini, an Indian and a Pakistani were working near the GPIC Club in West Eker when they were overcome by fumes.

One of the men – 54-year-old Vassu Pillai Vijayan, from Kerala, India – was working inside the eight-metre deep sewer when he tripped.

He called for help and his two colleagues – Pakistani Gul Ajab Gul, 32, and 26-year-old Bahraini Ali Abdulla – jumped in to rescue him, but all three died after inhaling hydrogen sulphide and methane gases.

Four men, three Indians and a Bahraini, received six-month suspended sentences from the Lower Criminal Court in March, 2014 for manslaughter, not supplying proper safety equipment such as gas masks and not having a proper work permit.

However, the supervisers and engineers appealed at the High Criminal Appeals Court and were acquitted yesterday.

“The defendants had provided safety requirements for the employees,” the court concluded in
its ruling.

“They also instructed the victim (Mr Vijayan) not to go down into the sewer without the safety equipment.

“However, he did not listen to them and died instantly.

“They also warned his colleagues not to go down into the sewer.

“They did not listen to them and went into the sewer to rescue him, but died from suffocation due to inhaling hydrogen sulphide and methane gases.

“Even though that this was not their speciality, including one who was an electrician, they went in after their colleague.”

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