Two young girls were killed by electrocution after they stepped on a live wire that had fallen out from a junction box in Kodungaiyur in Chennai on Wednesday.
The deceased girls, identified as 10-year-old Bhavana and eight-year-old Yuvashree, were residents of RR Nagar in Kodungaiyur.
With their schools declared closed on Wednesday, Bhavana and Yuvashree, who were siblings, were playing on the street on Wednesday morning along with another child. As the street was waterlogged due to heavy rains over the last two days, the children did not see the wires fallen on the road.
Both Bhavana and Yuvashree stepped on the wire and were electrocuted. The two children were rushed to Stanley hospital but were declared brought dead.
â€śThe incident happened at around 1.30pm. The children died immediately after being electrocuted. The locals of the area started protesting against the electricity department, but we convinced them (to stop the protest) and promised that action will be taken. We called the engineers of the TNEB (Tamil Nadu Electricity Board) to fix the wires, which had fallen out of the junction box,â€ť Pugazhendi, Inspector of Kodungaiyur police station, told TNM.
He added that the bodies of the two girls had been sent for post-mortem, and an investigation is in process.
Image: The street in Kodungaiyur where the mishap happened.
Soon after the incident, Electricity Minister P Thangamani announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the family of the two girls. Three officials of the TNEB were also suspended, with the Minister saying that more suspensions will follow.
Actor Kamal Haasan tweeted soon after the incident, asking the government to go beyond providing compensation and take immediate action. â€śIt's not enough if the TN govt mourns the death of children in Kodungaiyur and gives them (the family) financial aid. The government should take steps to ensure incidents like this are not repeated,â€ť he tweeted.
This is not the first incident of accidental electrocution to take place in Chennai recently. On October 17 and 18, two men were killed by electrocution in Ambattur. While Sivakumar was an electrician and was dealing with an electricity supply problem when was electrocuted, Sukriva Suleiman was reportedly killed after he accidentally touched an iron wire while hanging clothes to dry.
On September 1, an autorickshaw driver was killed after he stepped in a stagnant pool of water while trying to start his auto. Sivalingam was electrocuted as there was a leak in a junction box nearby.
The issue of falling live wires is one of the main problems that TNEB officials are confronted whenever Chennai faces major rains, as with Cyclone Vardah or the 2015 floods.