They were removing the shuttering of an unused septic tank when the accident occurred.
The incident took place on Sunday evening.
The police added that the deceased were identified as Nandu, 18, his elder brother Mohit, 24, and their neighbour Sahil, 16, all residents of Chaubepur in Kanpur.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) (West), Vijay Dhull said Nandu and Mohit used to undertake shuttering work of septic tanks and Sahil was their labourer.
They had gone to the Bithoor area to remove the shuttering from an unused septic tank which was built a few months ago, he added.
First, Sahil entered the tank and lost consciousness. Nandu and Mohit tried to rescue him but they also passed out, Dhull said.
Firefighters broke open the tank to rescue the three, he added.
The DCP said Nandu, Mohit and Sahil were rushed to the Lala Lajpat Rai hospital where doctors declared them dead.
A case will be registered in the matter if the victims’ families wish to file a complaint, Dhull said.
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