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Two girls electrocuted as rain continues to lash Chennai

Two children in a Chennai slum paid with their lives after electricity department workers allegedly left a live wire in the open which was submerged in a pool of rain water.

india Updated: Nov 01, 2017 20:53 IST
Southwest monsoon,Water logging,Electrocution
A woman carries a dog as she wades through a water-logged neighbourhood amid rain in Chennai.(REUTERS)

Two little girls were electrocuted when they stepped on a submerged live power line close to their slum near Perambur in north Chennai Wednesday afternoon as rain lashed the city for much of the day.

Local police said three girls - all aged eight years - of RR Nagar in Kudungaiyur were playing in the locality when two of them – Bhavana and Yuvashri – stepped on the live cable and were knocked unconscious. The third girl escaped possible death by jumping on to a concrete slab. The girls were rushed to a hospital where they were declared brought dead. The deceased were daughters of daily wage labourers.

Residents of the slum who went to rescue the girls found that they had stepped on the power cable that was hidden in stagnant water. Electricity board workers allegedly left the livewire which had submerged in a pool of rain water.

Power supply to the area was cut to prevent any further incident.

The slum residents held a protest against the negligence of the electricity department staff for leaving cables open near the junction box.

The government which announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh each for the parents of the children, came under fire from the opposition DMK which said the compensation was simply inadequate.

Rebel AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran held the government responsible for the tragedy. “The death is due to the lethargy of the state government,” he said.

Actor Kamal Haasan tweeted that the compassion shown as well as the ex-gratia announced by the government were inadequate.

Read more: Schools in Chennai closed as city braces for heavy rains

The government meanwhile promised strict action against the erring officials.

“We will take all steps to prevent recurrence of such tragic incidents,” power minister P Thangamani said.

He requested the people to report any such open wires, junction boxes and sudden power outages to the officials concerned.

Schools were closed for the second consecutive day on Wednesday because of heavy which started around 10.30 am and continued in spells across Chennai city and neighbouring areas.

According to the Met office, heavy to very heavy rain will occur in Chennai and coastal Tamil Nadu. For the 24 hours ending 8:30am Wednesday, areas near Chengalpet about 50 km southwest of Chenai received 100mm of rain and the state capital go 40 mm of rain.

Overnight rain caused water logging in several areas of the city.

Vyasarpadi, Perambur, Choolai and Otteri in North Chennai, West Anna Nagar in Central Chennai and few areas in south Chennai were inundated Wednesday. Rain submerged access to the Korathur ESI hospital in north Chennai giving patients a hard time.

Suburban areas of Mudhichur in Kancheepuram district that was among the worst affected in 2015 floods are facing inundation.

First Published: Nov 01, 2017 19:01 IST