LAHORE - A five-year-old boy died after falling into an open manhole in Lahore’s Shera Kot on Sunday afternoon.

The deceased was identified by police as Rehan, a resident of Al-Khayam Road near Niazi bus-stand.

According to the family, Rehan was playing in the street when he disappeared under mysterious circumstances. A rescue official said that some passersby spotted the body stuck inside an open manhole and alerted the police. A team of the Rescue-1122 reached the spot within no time and pulled out the body. The police handed over the body to the family after fulfilling legal formalities.

Following the incident, a large number of local residents staged a strong protest demonstration against the city district government stating that the tragedy took place because of the sheer negligence on part of the local administration.

They also chanted slogans against the provincial government for not paying heed to poor sanitary conditions in the provincial metropolis. The protesters said that the authorities were informed about the uncovered manholes on several occasions but they did not take action to improve the sanitary system.

The Managing Director of the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) has ordered an inquiry to probe into the incident. Further investigation was underway.

Deaths of children after falling in open manholes are not a rare incident in the provincial metropolis because of poor sanitation system particularly in the low-income neighbourhood and suburbs of Lahore.  In March, a five-year-old boy was recovered dead from an uncovered gutter in Lahore’s Iqbal Town two months after he went missing.  Resident of Badar Block, Azaan was also playing in the street when he went missing under mysterious circumstances.