In a freak accident, a 10-year-old boy from Thane was killed following a septic tank explosion.
It is understood that the boy, Akash Singh, who was playing with his friends around 8 pm on last Wednesday, took a break to attend the nature's call and paid Re.1 to use the nearby public restroom.
Singh was using the public restroom at Lokmanya Nagar when a septic tank situated in the corner of the cubicle he occupied, exploded. The sudden explosion is said to have inflicted major injuries on the boy, as the lid of the tank landed on the boy's head.
It is understood that the explosion took place due to excessive pressure of gases that formed inside the toilet's septic tank. Santosh Kadam of Thane Municipal Corporation was quoted by Metro "We received a call at around 8.30 pm. After examining the spot, it was found that the ventilation area was covered by rubbish, due to which the gas kept accumulating inside the tank, thereby creating high pressure."
Under conditions of anonymity, an official from Thane Municipal Corporation told The Indian Express: "We had originally built the toilets far from the slum settlements, but now the encroachments have grown and spread around the toilets. There is no way for any vehicle to go and use suction to clean the septic tanks. There was probably a rock or some hard material stuck creating a blockage in the pipe and that must have led to the explosion."
The officials of Thane Municipal Corporation had a meeting following the unfortunate accident to figure out how all public toilets can be routinely cleaned to avoid the recurrence of such explosions in the future.
Leaking fixtures, overuse of water and neglecting to regularly inspect and clean the tanks are some of the main reasons for septic tank explosions according to Woodstock Conservation Commission. They can be generally avoided if solid wastes that generally settle at the bottom of the tank are pumped out regularly.