Labourer electrocuted to death, 4 others injured at Chandigarh airport

The incident occurred at around 10am when five of the labourers, engaged in maintenance and repair work at the airport, were carrying an aluminium staircase of 20 feet height came in touch with a high tension wire

punjab Updated: Aug 05, 2017 14:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh airport,electrocution,migrant labourers
Shankar Sahu, 24, hailed from Janjgir-Champa district in Chhattisgarh. (Representative Image)

A 24-year-old labourer died while his brother and three others were injured when a ladder they were carrying came in contact with a high-tension wire near the cargo area at Chandigarh International Airport on Friday.

Shankar Sahu, 24, hailed from Janjgir-Champa district in Chhattisgarh.The injured have been identified as Sahu’s brother Hari Shankar, 20, and Manoj Kumar, 25, Ved Prakash, 25, and Sobran, 20. The three hail from Unnao district in Uttar Pradesh.

Employed by Bathinda-based Sandeep Builders that has the contract for maintenance work, they all reside at Jagatpura colony near the airport. The mishap took place around 10am when the five labourers were asked to bring a 20-foot aluminium ladder at a construction site near the toll plaza at the airport’s entrance. The ladder was lying near the cargo area, about a kilometre from there.

“The ladder touched the overhead 11kV supply line on the way and all the labourers were electrocuted,” said the airport chief executive officer (CEO) Suneel Dutt. The five were rushed to Fortis Hospital, where Sahu was declared brought dead. The condition of the other four is stable.

Contractor was negligent: PSPCL

While the airport staff did not divulge details of safety precautions that the contractors are mandated to adopt, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited sub-divisional officer (SDO) Inderpreet Singh said it appeared to be a case of negligence on part of the contractor.

The SDO said the contractor should have ensured safe transport of the ladder. He said the supply line is at least 20-25 feet above ground, and no such mishap has been reported earlier. Although contractor Sandeep Mittal could not be contacted, his counsel Jatin Arora said the labourers were negligent. He said the ladder was foldable, and the workers were asked to be cautious.

“We are concerned about the deceased’s family and those injured. They will be adequately compensated,” he said. Sahu’s brother Hari Shankar, who got injured in the mishap, said they were not unaware of the overhead high-tension wire. Manoj Kumar, another injured, said they were bringing the ladder as guided by their supervisor.

Inspector HS Bal, in-charge of the police station attached with the airport that falls in Mohali, said the matter is under investigation. “Necessary action will be taken if the firm is found at fault,” he said.

Kin not told about death till evening

Shankar Sahu’s family, which was waiting outside Fortis Hospital, was not informed about his death immediately. In fact, his younger brother Shiv Shankar, who was also injured, and two elder sisters continued to believe till the evening that he was undergoing treatment. Sahu, who was not married, is survived by his parents who are small farmers in Chhattisgarh and four siblings. He had migrated from there with his two brothers about eight years ago and had been working on daily wage.

Supply line likely to be removed

The 11KV line with which the ladder came in contact has been installed by the Punjab government for supplying electricity to the airport. An airport official said presence of an overhead power line in the cargo area may pose a serious risk once commercial activities begin in full swing in near future. Sources said the line may be withdrawn once the airport is given a connection through a separate 66kV line.

First Published: Aug 04, 2017 15:38 IST