Three-year-old crushed to death by lift at Navghar construction site

A three-and-a-half-year-old boy died on Friday after his head was crushed under a lift at a construction site in Navghar where his parents worked as labourers.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: July 4, 2009 12:30 am

A three-and-a-half-year-old boy died on Friday after his head was crushed under a lift at a construction site in Navghar where his parents worked as labourers.

The incident happened at Centre Point,a 22-storeyed building coming up at Gavanpada in Navghar when victim Tahjeeb Sheikh peered down the elevator chute unaware that the lift was on its way down from the upper floors.

“At around 1.15 pm on Friday,Tahjeeb was reportedly playing with five-year-old brother Tanvir on the first floor. The lift chute opening was partially covered by bricks but still had a gaping hole and both the kids had playfully peered down the chute unaware that the lift was on a descent. While Tanvir had quickly stepped back,before Tahjeeb could react the lift hit the back of his head,smashed it.

The liftman had immediately stopped the lift and both the police and the fire brigade were summoned,” said police sub-inspector S R Banker of the Navghar police station.

Fireman Anil Janardhan from the Gavanpada fire station received a call at 1.25 pm and rushed to the spot with six others and a fire ambulance. “We realised that the boy’s head would have been crushed owing to the impact and also knew that it was stuck between the lift and the wall of the chute. We went to the 22 nd floor and began manually lowering the lift slowly so that the head could be taken out. As the lift was on a descent when the accident happened and the power was switched off,we had no option but to lower the lift,” said Janardhan.

Tahjeeb’s parents Akhtar and Tarannum Sheikh were staying on the first floor of the building. They had arrived in Mumbai from Bihar two years ago and were working here ever since.

According to witnesses present at the site,the police arrived at the spot and insisted on taking photographs of the site and the child’s body stuck in the chute for panchnama purposes,before the fire officials could continue with their operation to extricate the body. The extrication process reportedly took an hour.

The child was immediately rushed to the Vir Savarkar Hospital where he was declared brought dead.

Deputy Commissioner of Police R M Vatkar (Zone VII) said that the Navghar police would be registering a case of death due to negligence against the builder,the contractor and the liftman.

“At any construction site,it’s the responsibility of the builder and the contractor to ensure that there is no scope for any danger. In this case the lack of security precautions are to be blamed for the accident. The chute should have been properly covered or at least some supervisory surveillance should have been there,” Vatkar said.

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