Five high school students died of electrocution in Karnataka early morning on Sunday while trying to remove the flag post raised for Independence Day celebrations at their hostel building.
The incident took place on the first floor of the boys’ hostel of Devaraj Urs Residential School in Koppal.
According to Koppal police, preliminary investigation indicated that two students were electrocuted first as the flag pole accidentally came in contact with a 11-kv live electric wire when it was raised from the box it was installed in. “The other three students came rushing to the spot seeing their friends getting electrocuted, and tried to help them. This is when electricity passed through to the others as well, leading to all five of them collapsing to death then and there. Gross violation of safety measures led to this tragic incident,” a police officer told Indianexpress.com.
The deceased have been identified as Mallikarjun, Basavaraj (Class 10 students), Devaraj, Kumar (Class 9 students), and Ganesh (Class 8 student).
Koppal Deputy Commissioner P Sunil Kumar, among the first few officials to reach the spot, promised strict legal action against the hostel warden, building owner, and Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company (GESCOM) officials for negligence causing the deaths.
“I have asked the local tahsildar to lodge a complaint against them. The police have booked a case and an investigation is underway,” he said.
CM Yediyurappa announces Rs 5 lakh compensation
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, who expressed grief over the incident, announced in Bengaluru a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family of each student. “We stand by the families who have lost their dear ones. A thorough probe has been ordered and top officials of the district have been directed to look into the matter immediately,” Yediyurappa said.
He added that the compensation should reach the victims’ families by Monday.
Reacting to the incident, Udupi-Chickmagaluru MP Shobha Karandlaje demanded an enquiry into the matter. “My thoughts are with the families of the students in this hour of grief. Demand for a high-level enquiry on this grave incident,” she wrote on Twitter.
Saddened to know that five students in a BCM hostel of Koppal electrocuted to death.
My thoughts are with the families of the students in this hour of grief.
Demand for a high-level enquiry on this grave incident.
— Shobha Karandlaje (@ShobhaBJP) August 18, 2019