Sunday, February 25, 2024

Old, live electric wires become death traps

Four die from electrocution in capital in 2 days
Four people died from electrocution in a couple of days in Dhaka when they came in contact with live electric wires, which have grown rundown over years for no maintenance, becoming death traps for city residents.
Majida Huda Joly 38, wife of lawyer Nasrul Huda Dollar, a resident of Gabtala at Moghbazar, and her domestic help Rini, 10, died from electrocution at Moghbazar on Thursday.
The accident took place 15 hours inside another woman, Marium Begum, and her four-year-old son, Shaon, died after being electrocuted on Nazimuddin Road in Old Town of Dhaka when it was raining Wednesday afternoon.
Many residents complained that electric wires had become death traps for them as torn live wires were frequently found lying on the roads, exposing people to the risk of electrocution.
The project director of the burn and plastic surgery unit at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Samanta Lal Sen, on Thursday told New Age they received two to three patients of electrocution at the unit on an average a day.
Eighty per cent of such patients, however, have so far survived, he said.
The Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited managing director, Ataul Masud, also said power distribution lines in the capital had become risky as they were maintained with age-old wires that had not been rehabilitated in years.
He told New Age on Thursday the electric supply lines in many city areas had become rundown and the distribution lines had not been rehabilitated in seven to eight years during the days of the Dhaka Electric Supply Authority.
The Dhaka Power Distribution Company took over the charge only a year ago, in July 2008, and ‘we are rehabilitating the supply lines in phases. We will soon begin rehabilitation of the Moghbazar–Nayatola line,’ he said.
The company on Thursday formed a three-member committee to investigate Thursday’s incident of electrocution, he said.
The committee, headed by an executive engineer, will look into whether there was any negligence on part of the company staff or lack of maintenance, he said.
‘The line tripped in the morning and we thought it was a normal incident of tripping. But the line might have torn and fallen on the road. When we restarted the line after a few minutes, the women might have come in contact with the torn, live electric wire which caused the electrocution,’ he said.
He also said another committee was investigating Wednesday’s incident in which the two died from electrocution in Old Town.
‘We primarily suspect that in the case of the Nazimuddin Road incident, the wire of a subscriber’s power line was torn.’
Asked whether the company was responsible for a torn live wire of a power supply line of a subscriber, the managing director said, ‘We have several lakhs of subscribers. It is the duty of the subscribers to inform us if any wire is torn. We can then take steps for its repairs.’
According to spot accounts, after dropping her son, Riat, a Class III student, at the BIAM Laboratory School at New Eskaton, Majida first came in contact with a snapped electric wire as she entered the Moghbazar kitchen market at about 7:30am Thursday.
The wire was connected to a transformer, which had burst a while ago, local residents said. As she cried out, Rini, who was accompanying Majida, tried to save her, but the both sustained severe injuries and fell unconscious after being electrocuted.
The two were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where they were pronounced dead. The bodies were sent for post-mortem examinations.
It has become a regular phenomenon that transformers in the area go burst very often, posing a threat to the people, the people said.
They alleged the authorities were informed of the matter several times, but no action was yet to be taken.

Courtesy of NewAgebd

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