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Kharadi transformer blast: FIR filed against MSEDCL officials for causing death of techies

They have been charged for offences under Sections 304a (causing death due to negligence), 427 (damage to property) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). 

pune Updated: Jul 07, 2018 17:17 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
techies,Sections 304a,death due to negligence
A transformer near Zensar, Kharadi had caught fire in Pune on Saturday. (Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)

Three months after the tragic death of two techies who sustained burn injuries due to a transformer explosion in Kharadi, Pune police have booked officials of the Maharashtra state electricity distribution company limited (MSEDCL) who were responsible for upkeep of the cables at the transformer and the maintenance. They have been charged for causing death due to negligence and under relevant Sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

They have been charged for offences under Sections 304a (causing death due to negligence), 427 (damage to property) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The deceased, identified as Priyanka Anandrao Zagade (24), a native of Satara, who lived in Bhekrainagar, and Pankaj Krushnarao Khune (27) from Wardha, who resided in Warje-Malwadi, were employed with an IT company in Kharadi. On May 11, they had stepped out of their office around 4.30 pm for a cup of tea and went to a tea stall (A-1 Sandwich) on the footpath near Zensar company telephone centre in Kharadi.

While they were waiting for their orders to come, a sudden fire broke out at the tea stall after a massive explosion on the transformer premises.

The two techies were critically injured after hot transformer oil fell on them and they were rushed to Surya hospital for emergency medical treatment. The tea stall was completely gutted and the man and the woman sustained serious burn injuries. Priyanka succumbed to injuries on June 16, while Khune died at the hospital in his native Wardha on June 15.

The family members of the deceased had claimed that the fatal fire was sparked by an explosion in a transformer on the footpath. However, MSEDCL officials had then flatly ruled out the transformer explosion theory and lodged an FIR against the tea stall owner for running an illegal stall and causing damage to the transformer. “The duo were injured due to a fire at the stall. The fire had spread to the mango trees at the backside of the tea stall, and then reached the transformer. There was no fault in the transformer”, Yerwada electricity inspector had stated in his report to the police.

However, cops sent samples from the site to the forensic science laboratory on Ganeshkhind road, and superintending engineer, Pune regional electrical inspection circle. After getting experts’ opinion, police came to the conclusion that the LT cable on the transformer premises was not kept in good condition and the concerned MSEDCL officials did not take precautionary measures, even though there was history of trips and faults in the feeder. Thus, there was explosion in LT cable which led to fire at the transformer and tea stall and injuries to the two techies after transformer oil fell on them. Police also recorded statements of eight witnesses as well as the two injured persons.

Based on complaint from PSI S Y Patil of Chandan Nagar police station, the FIR has been registered with the police station against unidentified officials of MSEDCL who were responsible for upkeep of the LT cable. PSI RB Rajput is carrying out the investigation.

First Published: Jul 07, 2018 17:16 IST