AHMEDABAD: Two sanitation workers died of suffocation, while another went missing after they entered a sewer line without wearing any safety equipment in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad city on Thursday, police and fire department said.

Although efforts are on to rescue the missing sanitation worker, chances of his survival are slim, said fire officer Mithun Mistry, who is supervising the rescue operation.

Since rescuers were finding it difficult to locate and pull out the third victim, a pit is being dug next to the pipeline to access the area where the worker may be stuck, Mistry said.

“Local authorities have hired a private contractor to maintain the sewage pipeline connecting Bopal with Shilaj village. As soon as the first worker entered the manhole for some maintenance work, he collapsed after inhaling toxic gases inside the sewer,” Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) K T Kamariya said.

When the two other workers entered the sewer to save him, they too fell unconscious, the official said, adding that the fire department has fished out two bodies while rescue operation is on for the third worker.

The trio were related to each other and hailed from Dahod district, Kamariya said, noting that none of the workers was wearing any safety equipment.

An FIR under relevant sections will be registered against the contractor if any lapses on his part are found, the DySP said.