IN THE wake of deaths of three members of a family who were electrocuted at their residence in Laxmipuram on Dehu Road, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited officials have warned consumers that such equipment should be avoided as they are highly risky. Twenty eight-year-old Manipardi Selvan reportedly got electrocuted on Saturday when she tried to check whether the water in the bucket had heated adequately by putting her hand in while the rod was still inside the bucket and the power was on. Her body lay just outside the bathroom. Her, nine-month-old son, Saruwin, crawled and touched the water on the floor and got electrocuted too. The woman had shut the house from inside.
Vellapandi Selvan, her husband, rushed to his house when his niece told him that nobody was responding despite repeated knocks on the door. When Vellapandi arrived, he could not open the door. After he managed to open it, he found his wife outside the bathroom. As he tried to lift her, he too got an electric shock and died.
The MSEDCL officials said immersion rods have an insulated coil for heating purposes. When a current goes through the resistor, it passes through the coil and gradually, raises the temperature of water. A shopkeeper in Dehu Road said the immersion rods are immensely popular among Puneites. His shop has sold over 200 rods in past six months. According to him, the instructions are mentioned on the package but consumers don’t pay any heed.
The MSEDCL officials said it could be possible that the woman had forgotten to switch off the supply and remove the plug. “We are still investigating the matter and would submit a report in a day or two,” an official said. MSEDCL officials said consumers generally do not follow instructions given on the package. “Immersion rods are most dangerous as the coil is let out in the water through which the current passes. The water geysers are the safest options,” said an official. Activist Srijit Rameshan said, “The immersion rods are popular because they are available cheaply whereas geysers are costly.”