Hope Farm electrocution: Bescom officials were not aware of the snapped conductor until after the accident
The death of 23-year-old Soundarya and her nine-month-old baby, after stepping on a live electric wire near Hope Farm on Sunday early morning, has left citizens with multiple questions and concerns about electricity safety in the city. A day after the accident, officials of Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) shed some light on the factors that led to the accident.
The deaths occurred owing to the snapping of the conductor in the morning. “The snapped line was carrying power to an apartment about 150 metres away from the accident spot. Around 3.50 a.m., the connection tripped in the load-break switch (LBS) installed at the apartment owing to the entry of a rat. Three fuses installed near the apartment went off after that. Shortly after that, the live wire must have broken down,” said T. Shanthamallappa, General Manager, Quality, Safety and Standard, Bescom.
He continued: “At 3.50 a.m., there was a trip at the sub-station and hence, as per routine, they did a test charge after five minutes and the power held, and this wire was charged. Around 5.25 a.m., someone from the apartment called about the power outage and our team went to inspect. That is when they realised there was some problem and were on their way to check the line before which the accident occurred.”
He also said that the Bescom officials were not aware of the snapping of the conductor until then.
While it is standard for conductors to lose charge upon snapping, the official said it had not occurred in this case, as the ground tension was not found owing to the concrete surface of the footpath.
When asked about why the wires in the stretch were not converted into underground cables, Mr. Shanthamallappa said: “We were waiting for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to show us the route we should take as it has an underpass coming there”.
Arrested officials out on station bail
Meanwhile, the five Bescom officials arrested after the accident were released on station bail from the Kadugodi police station on Monday after questioning.
The police said that their statements have been recorded and further investigation is on to ascertain the exact reason behind the accident and the people involved. The officials have been booked under Section 304(a) of the IPC, which is bailable in nature.
The family and relatives of the deceased staged a protest on Monday and demanded strict action against the accused for their negligent attitude.
Residents of Whitefield too raised concerns over pedestrian safety stating that footpaths in and around the area have become a nightmare for people, especially senior citizens.
“Though the BBMP and the traffic police conduct drives against encroachment and unattended hanging cables, pedestrian safety is still at risk,” Sunil Kumar, a relative of the deceased, said.
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