A 57-year-old staffer from the Equitation Training Team (ETT) of the National Defence Academy (NDA) died during treatment when a horse kicked him on his head while the staffer was trying to offer help to a cadet who had fallen off the saddle.
The NDA has ordered an inquiry into the incident and offered a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of the deceased staffer.
The ETT at the NDA is well known for the training given to cadets and has till date, produced several national and international champions in various equestrian sports. Mainly, the cadets of the second and fourth term take part in the training and at present, there are around 170 horses and nine stable sheds.
As per the NDA authorities, Yellappa (57) was a Multi-Task Staffer (MTS) attached to the ETT for several years and was well experienced in his job. The incident took place during a training session on May 2, when a cadet had mounted the horse and fell down.
“We have well-trained staff who understand the behaviour of horses and care is taken while dealing with the animals. This was a rare incident, in which the horse got irritated due to some reason. On the way from the stable to the training arena, the horse went out of control and the cadet fell on the ground. Yellappa immediately went to help the cadet get up and move away from the horse. At that moment, the horse kicked him and the horseshoe hit Yellappa on his head, causing a serious injury.”
Yellappa was immediately rushed to the Military Hospital in Khadakwasla and from there to a private hospital in Pune, where the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) benefits could be availed. He, however, succumbed to his injuries during treatment on May 5, said NDA authorities.
A post mortem was conducted at the Sassoon Hospital and later, the body was handed over to the family. When contacted, Lt Commander Shibu Devasia of the NDA said, “A compensation of Rs 10 lakh has been announced for the family of the deceased staff. Provisions are also being made to give a job to a family member of Yellappa at the NDA. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered into the case to find out what exactly happened and what steps can be taken to avoid any such incidents in the future.”