In a tragic incident, three children were electrocuted to death in Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday as a YSRCP flag-pole which they were playing with, ended up falling on electric wires in Koppara village of Prakasam district. The incident happened soon after the children had come out from a mosque after finishing morning prayers, according to local reports.
Speaking to TNM, Prakasam District Superintendent Engineer of Andhra Pradesh Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (APSPDCL) Subba Raju, said that the incident was unfortunate.
"Five children were playing around with the flag-pole of a political party which was not fixed to the ground either with bolts or with cement as is usually the case. The children tried to lift it from where it was set, and as a result they managed to pull it out and lost their balance. The pole fell on an electric wire overhead, which immediately led to the deaths of three children. The other two escaped as they let go of the pole immediately," he said.
He added, "The officials concerned have already reached the spot and are ascertaining the reason behind the mishap."
The Santamaguluru police have registered a case and further investigation is underway. The deceased children were identified as Sheikh Pathan Ghouse, Sheikh Hasan, and Pathan Amar. All three children were 11 years old and Class 5 students in a local school.
Over the last six months, as many as 8 deaths due to electrocution have been reported in the state, as the electrical fences in agricultural fields turned into death traps for the farmers.
Most often, farmers are getting electrocuted when they come in contact with live wires while switching on or operating their bore well motors.
Speaking to TNM, N Sreenivasulu, the superintendent engineer (SE) for Kadapa said, "These accidents, be it domestic or outside, are taking place due to lack of knowledge or negligence when it comes to dealing with electricity wires or material. In the case of farmers, there are also several cases where electric traps and fences have been set up to safeguard crops from wild animals. People or animals who are not aware of the electric fence are also falling prey to this."
Electricity officials state that the lack of safety measures and precariously hanging electric material or lines, is resulting in such disasters.
Speaking about the deaths of the children, Subba Raju, the Praksam SE, said, "Awareness drives are being conducted through different means. Citizens should also see how their actions can lead to mishaps. In this case, people who erected the pole should have made sure that the pole was fixed with cement."
He added that they are filing criminal cases against people who set up electric fences without permission, which are leading to deaths or accidents.
Officials have also advised farmers and citizens to avoid using substandard electric material or wires which can compromise safety.