A 30-year-old private school teacher lost her life while her two children and parents had a miraculous escape, when a heavy iron pillar being lifted by a hydraulic crane fell near the Sultanpuri-Nangloi railway crossing on Tuesday morning.
The deceased, Taruna Tahim alias Sonu, lived with her in-laws and children — Hansita, 9, and Mukul, 4 – at a rented accommodation in Sultanpuri’s F-block. Sonu’s husband, Sanjeev, is an auto-rickshaw driver.
The incident took place around 9 am near a construction site where the Northern Railways was constructing a railway over bridge and a railway underpass to connect Sultanpuri with Nangloi, a police officer said.
"The crane lost balance while lifting the pillar, which fell on the woman who was heading home with her family members after crossing the railway track. She was pronounced dead on arrival at Sanjay Gandhi Memorial hospital," said BS Jaiswal, DCP (outer).
A case under sections 287 (negligent conduct with respect to machinery) and 304A (causing death by negligence) had been registered at the Sultanpuri police station against the errant crane driver, who fled immediately after the incident.
"It was a blocked construction site and trespassing wasn’t allowed. The work was given to private contractor and a case has been registered against the crane driver," said Neeraj Sharma, chief public relation officer, Northern Railways.
Following the woman’s death, a mob from nearby colonies blocked the railway track for around half an hour and set the crane on fire.
Agitated locals shouted slogans against the Delhi Police and railway department and demanded compensation for the victim’s family. The mob dispersed from the spot after the police intervened.
Meanwhile, Tahim’s children remained unaware of their mother’s death.
They were told that their mother was admitted in a hospital, and would be back after getting medical attention for her injuries. They recounted how they tried to stop her from entering the site, and how she finally met with an accident.
"We, along with our mother and grandparents (maternal), were crossing the railway track to reach our house. I tried to pull my mother back as soon as I saw the iron pillar fall. But it fell on her and she started bleeding badly. Our grandparents and other people rushed her to a nearby hospital. Our mother is injured, but she will come home soon," said Mukul, narrating the incident.