LAHORE - More than 200 WASA sewer men, specialised in de-silting operation inside manholes, have a fear of being killed in the line of duty. Paradoxically, neither authority concerned has officially bound sewer men to use safety gadgets nor the latter are in habit of adopting safety measures to save their lives. Death of two sewer men in Mughalpura on Thursday will be a matter of concern for the sewer men performing their jobs in different departments specially WASA. As WASA sewer men have to perform the dangerous tasks going inside the manholes, they are more vulnerable to death than others. Last year two WASA sewer men died while working in a drain situated opposite a bank located on Upper Mall near Qurban Lines. Though after the incident WASA purchased safety equipment worth Rs 25 million, but the sewer men do not know how to use them. The authority concerned could not educate sewer workers as to how different tools function, about hazards from wastewater chemicals and 'confined space' entry and a tri-detector to measure sewer gases in the manhole atmosphere prior to go inside manhole. MD WASA Javed Iqbal, however, said that the agency issued new directives to the section concerned asking it to follow the set guidelines for using safety measures to avoid any untoward incident. He said that Wasa had already instructed its sewer workers that they should be equipped with safety gadgets while doing their jobs. He said agency had purchased expensive safety gadgets but it was pity that sewer men showed laxity in using them which resulted in serious consequences. WASA Director (Planning and Evaluation) Zahid Aziz told the Nation that agency had 1,500 to 2,000 sewer men in which more than 200 were specialised in desilting operation in manholes. We have more then 50 multi-gas monitors to detect gases including Hydrogen sulphide, Carbon dioxide, 50 disaster monitors fixed with sewer men to blow loud alarm if observes no movement in fifteen minutes, 30 man winch (machine used to pull out sewer man in emergency), 200 light-fixed Helmets, 10 compressors used for oxygen, 30 trolley-fitted breathing machines and masks. He said that WASA had training centre at Noha Kot near Gulshan Ravi to impart digital age training to sewer men. He said that during the training, sewer workers were educated about usage of safety gadgets. Experts believe that three types of invisible dangers can be found in sewer manholes or 'confined space' which are explosive gases, lack of oxygen, hydrogen sulphide gas.  They say that methane is one of several volatile gases found in sewers. It is generated from the sewerage itself and so is more likely to be present than those discharged by industrial users. They say that a small spark, causing violent explosions, can ignite volatile gases. Hydrogen sulphide explodes from the opening in a huge upward force. When standing sewerage is suddenly 'shook up' by releasing a plug, by turning on a pump, or when the sewerage is released into a 'drop' manhole, gases released may well reach fatal levels. They said that Hydrogen sulphide was generated in the flow when sewerage was allowed to stand for a long period and become stagnant or septic.  Asif Chaudhry adds:  Two officials of Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) died of suffocation and another fainted when they were working in a manhole near in Mughalpura on Thursday. The deceased were identified as Baqaa, 36, and Nanha, 35 while another who fell unconscious was named as Sarfraz, 46, was shifted to Railway Cairn Hospital. The incident took place near New Flats Loco Workshop. The workers were busy in work in the manhole, ignoring safety measures, the Rescue 1122 and police officials claimed. Rescue 1122 officials said three workers of the agency were repairing sewerage lines in a main manhole when one of them, present inside the manhole fell unconscious due to toxic gases and fell in the water in manhole. In an attempt to save him, his two fellows entered the hole to help him but also became unconscious due to effects of poisonous gases. During rescue efforts one of the two also fell in the water and was later recovered dead. Rescue officials rushed to the spot and started rescue operation. It took them an hour to remove the bodies of the victims from deep water.