After a call from their son at 6 am Sunday about his new shoes and how the hotel he was staying in was bad, parents of Priyanshu Kumar (15), who was in the capital for a shooting competition, received another call from his coach at 1 pm informing them about the sudden death of their child.
A national-level shooter who had won more than 30 gold medals, Kumar was found dead in the bathroom of Collection O hotel, a brand of hospitality start-up OYO Rooms, in South East Delhi’s Pul Prahladpur.
DCP (South East) Chinmoy Biswal said, “We suspect the boy died due to an electric shock from appliances in the bathroom. We have registered an FIR under section 304A (death due to negligence).” Police sources said they believe the geyser switch may have caused the electrocution.
Kumar had come to Delhi with his coach Amar Singh and students from his school in Dehradun on October 9. The boys were practising for a North-Zone shooting competition at Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range, scheduled for October 17. Kumar, who hailed from Bihar’s Nawada, was a student of Tula’s International School, Dehradun.
He was sharing the room with another boy, Yash Gupta (14), from the same school. Gupta told The Indian Express, “When we checked into the hotel, we were given a room on the fourth floor. On Saturday, we shifted to a room on the second floor due to some issues. Around noon, we found there was no water in the bathroom. We called the staff again and they fixed the issue. After that, Priyanshu went to take a bath.”
Gupta said Kumar had been inside the bathroom for 5-7 minutes when he heard a scream. “I got scared and rushed to open the door, but it was locked from inside. Then I heard a loud bang on the door. I ran downstairs and called the hotel staff,” said Gupta.
Police said one of the staffers entered the bathroom through the ventilation window and found Kumar on the floor.
“They opened the door from the inside and I saw Priyanshu on the floor, holding a hand shower. We picked him up and shifted him to the bed and called the ambulance and police. We tried to resuscitate him but couldn’t. After 10 minutes, the ambulance took him to the hospital,” said Gupta.
The boy’s coach was at Tughlakabad stadium at the time of the incident. The coach said they picked the hotel since it was close to the shooting range. “They gave us a heavy discount and a room cost us Rs 1,350,” he said.
An OYO spokesperson said, “We are helping police and internally investigating the matter. As part of the procedure, the hotel has been sealed to help police with the probe.” In an announcement earlier this year on the launch of Collection O hotels, OYO wrote on its website that “safety and guest experience” were “a priority going forward”.
Biswal said the hotel has been sealed. “We are waiting for the post-mortem reports and questioning hotel staff and the roommate.”
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