x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Pesticide sprayers accused of man's death

A postmortem examination found traces of poisonous pesticides in the body, Dubai Court of Misdemeanours was told.

DUBAI // Three pesticide workers accidentally killed a security guard by spraying an apartment in his building with chemicals, a court was told yesterday.

The body of the victim, PK, was found in his two-metre by two-metre bedroom on the ground floor of a building in Al Baraha in July last year.

A postmortem examination found traces of poisonous pesticides in the body, Dubai Court of Misdemeanours was told.

Residents of the apartment block, friends of the victim and staff at the property company that runs the building became worried when PK did not answer their calls, the court heard.

OF, who works in the property company office, told prosecutors his manager ordered him to check on the security guard. He found relatives and friends of PK trying to break down the door to his flat.

"We looked through his window and we saw him lying motionless on his bed," OF said. He immediately called police.

A lieutenant from Al Muraqqabat police station said they forced their way into PK's room, where there was an unpleasant chemical odour.

"We could smell it from five metres away," the officer said.

NK, 36; SL, 49; and TM, 35, all employees of a pesticides company, are charged with negligence that caused PK's death.

Prosecutors say T?M sprayed an apartment on the third floor of P?K’s building on July 17, 2010.

T?M told prosecutors he did not mix any of the pesticides used and did not see P?K in the flat he sprayed. He said he asked its residents to leave for four hours.

The two other men also deny responsibility for P?K’s death. They told prosecutors their company worked according to municipality safety regulations.

Several empty pesticide cans were found in P?K’s room, but it was not clear when they had been used.

The workers said they did not leave pesticide cans anywhere except the third-floor apartment that was sprayed, and did not give them to anyone.

N?K told prosecutors he had dropped off T?M at P?K’s apartment building. “We received a call from an apartment in Al Baraha near Danielo restaurant, but I did not enter the flat, I just drove T?M,” he said.

Prosecutors also say T?M, from India, had broken residency regulations for seven years. He was deported for visa offences before the trial began.

The next hearing will be on September 5.

salamir@thenational.ae