Pune: Firefighter dies in an effort to rescue two men trapped in a trench 25 feet deep

PUNE: A firefighter died Sunday night after being buried under a pile of mud at the site of a rescue operation that was being carried out to take out two men who had fallen into a 25-foot deep ditch in Dapodi The two men have not yet identified.

The deceased, Vishal Jadhav, was one of three firefighters from the fire department of Pimpri Chinchwad trying to rescue the two men who fell into the well at around 6.30 p.m. The three firefighters were buried by a mud slip when they were inside the trench.

Jadhav's colleagues, Saroj Punde and Nitin Gogavale, were taken at nine o'clock at night. Authorities said they were sent to the hospital and are out of danger.

Efforts to rescue the two men were ongoing at the time of going to the press.

The ditch had been excavated to lay a pipe along a path that leads to a church in Dapodi. Authorities said the two men were standing on large piles of mud that had accumulated around the job site when they fell.

According to the authorities, the contractor hired to carry out the work had not placed warning signs throughout the site.

The personnel of the fire brigade of Pimpri Chinchwad, together with those of the fire brigade of Pune and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), responded to the emergency call.

Speaking to TOI, Pimpri Chinchwad fire officer Kiran Gavade said: “Late on Sunday night, we received a call that a man had fallen into the trench. However, when our three firefighters, Jadhav, Punde and Gogavale, went there, they discovered that two men were trapped in the trench. Firefighters were about to rescue one of them when the mud that had accumulated around the job site slipped into the ditch, burying them. Punde and Gogavale were rescued, but Jadhav was pronounced dead later.

According to Gavade, many local residents watching the rescue operation were standing on the mud pile.

We are trying our best to rescue the two men, said Gavade, who added that heavy machinery, including excavators, has been put into service.

Gavade said the ditch was excavated about six months ago, but that work on the site stopped due to recent heavy rains. It was supposed to resume in the coming weeks.