IAF sergeant’s son falls into engine shaft of boat, dies
The 10-year-old son of an Indian Air Force (IAF) sergeant died on Sunday, after he fell into the engine shaft of a ferry while going to Colaba, from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) Jetty, on Saturday.
The boy, a Class five student at Navy Children School in Karanja, Uran, died at 3.30pm on Sunday during treatment, following which the boat owner was booked section 304A of the Indian Penal Code by the Nhava Sheva police for negligence. However, no arrests have been made so far as the police claimed they are figuring out the name of the accused. “We are trying to find out if the boat was given out on contract basis and who the actual owner of the boat is. We will also look into why the speedboat was delayed. Following our investigation, we will make arrests,” said Pramod Jadhav, senior inspector, Nhava Sheva police.
Sergeant Harvinder Singh, deployed at JNPT Nhava Sheva IAF station, was headed to INHS Asvini Hospital in Colaba with his family, including his wife and sons, Karandeep, 10 and Arjundeep, 7, on Saturday for a health check-up. The family had boarded the ferry boat from JNPT Jetty around 10.15am for Gateway of India. “Half an hour into the ride, my son said he wanted chips. There was a small snacks store on the boat and I gave him Rs10. Seconds later, I heard his scream and a loud thud. We saw he was rotating with the engine in the cavity,” Singh told HT. Singh blamed the boat owner for negligence, and said, “The engine space was neither covered, nor there was an attendant near the area.”
The boat crew shut the engine and Karandeep was pulled out. He was bleeding heavily with severe head injuries.
Singh and his wife, who were searching for medical help on the boat, managed to get a speedboat after 40 to 45 minutes, and rushed a heavily injured Karandeep to INHS Hospital after reaching Bhaucha Dhakka. “I don’t know why it [the speedboat] was delayed. If we got the speedboat on time, my son would have reached the hospital in five minutes,” Singh added. Karandeep was admitted in the intensive care unit and doctors informed the family that his chances of survival were bleak. Owing to severe head injuries, he suffered brain damage, the family said.
Singh, who was posted in Assam before this, was deployed at the as a sergeant at the air force station in Nhava Sheva eight months ago.