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India: Electrical Accident Deaths Continue to Rise

February 17, 2014 Leave a comment

Bangalore, India: Even as Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (Mescom) winds up its one-week awareness programme, it is confronted with an ever-increasing number of fatalities, due to electrocution. The latest being the death of a farmer who touched a faulty fuse on his pumpset near Vittal on Wednesday.

Between April and December, 52 persons, including one official, died in electrical accidents involving Mescom connections. By sheer extrapolation, the financial year 2013-14 will record the most accidents for the public utility company – which serves Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Shimoga and Chikmagalur – in the recent years.

Reasons

Officials offer a bevy of reasons, the prime being sagging wires, bent poles – either due to trees or branches falling during the monsoons, or damage to poles during ploughing or construction work – improper grounding due to stagnating water, illegal construction close to electric lines and illegal irrigation pumpsets among others.

Employee deaths are attributed to “overconfidence” in not creating a ‘safe zone’ while repairing live wires, or “procedural lapses” arising due to pressures of attending numerous complaints during the monsoons.

“During the rains, the porcelain insulators may develop hairline cracks, and as water seeps in, the insulators conduct electricity. If the lineman, who has to climb up each pole and see the insulators, is not observant, he may end up touching a live insulator,” said an official. A rainy night may see a team of linemen attending four to five calls, adding to the possibility of procedural lapses, he said.

Though at least two linemen have died in service in the district, since April last year, they do not feature in official records of Mescom personnel dead in the district – the number remains zero. The reason being, said officials, that linemen on contract are not considered “employees of Mescom”.

“For the regular linemen they get facilities of rehabilitation from Mescom. For the contract workers, you have to haggle with the contractor for additional funds,” said Shivkumar, president of the Mescom non-permanent workers association.

Story Via: thehindu.com

India: Electrical Accident Fatalities Still Persistent

January 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Bangalore, India:
According to Bescom records, the number of fatal electrical accidents in the first half of Fiscal 2013 in the Bescom jurisdiction was 86 involving people, and 45 involving animals.
Statistics of the past five years show that the number of accidents has been persistently high. In 2009-10, the fatalities were 105, while in 2012-13, it was 127.

According to an analysis done by Bescom, there are seven categories under which these accidents have taken place. Among them, snapping of conductors, accidental contact with live wire, lack of supervision and violation of safety norms and defective appliances top the list.  The number of deaths due to electrical accidents involving the public is far higher than the number of deaths of the Bescom staff. In both 2012-13 fiscal and 2013-14 fiscal (until November), the number of fatal accidents involving the public has been higher compared with the number of non-fatal accidents. In 2012-13, 116 people died in electrical accidents and 51 met with non-fatal accidents.
In the current 2013-14 fiscal, 81 people have died, compared with 36 people who escaped in non-fatal incidents. As far as the staff is concerned, the company has lost four lives in 2013-14, and as many as 11 in 2012-13.
There have been deaths of animals, too. Of the 45 deaths of animals in electrical accidents, 17 were due to snapping of conductors, 13 due to accidental contact with live wire, among others.
In a circular on November 19, 2013, Bescom General Manager (Quality and Safety) Mohan Kalluraya notes: “Electrical accidents in the Bescom jurisdiction are increasing.
The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) is viewing this seriously… Even after issuing various circulars regarding identification and rectification of hazardous locations, yet accidents are on the rise.”
In a subsequent circular issued on December 7, 2013, by Bescom Director (Technical) H Nagesh, it is noted, “From the analysis of accidents reported, it is observed that the occurrence of departmental accidents is due to overconfidence of the field staff…”
Speaking to Deccan Herald, a KERC officer said that the majority of accidents occur because there is no sufficient gap between buildings and wires. Narrow roads and slums are more vulnerable.
Such accidents could be curtailed by 99 per cent by replacing open conductors with aerial bunched cables, he said. But these cables are quite expensive. “It is important to ensure that even if a wire snapped, it should not be hazardous. A better option is to resort to the underground system, though it is expensive. It costs approximately six times more than the overhead system, but it is definitely safer. Bescom may not have funds to replace it all at once, but it could be done in phases.”

Story Via: DeccanHerrald.com

India: 1 Electrocuted, 1 Seriously Burned

India: Deedar Singh (57), a resident of Jastna Khurd village near Lalru and a POWERCOM employee, lost his life by getting an electric shock while working on an electricity pole near Chaudheri village in Lalru on Saturday. Jasbir Singh, another lineman accompanying him, sustained serious injuries during the incident.

According to POWERCOM’s SDO Kehar Singh, the two linemen were sent to conduct the repair work at Chaudheri village on Saturday.

The electricity supply to the line had been discontinued for repair and their fuse uninstalled, but due to heavy storms and rain during the day, the fuse got connected and current passed through the line due to which Deedar Singh sustained the shock, said the SDO.

Jasbir Singh was referred to GMCH-32 where his condition is said to be stable and the body of the deceased has been sent to Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi for conducting the postmortem while further proceedings have been initiated, said the police.

Story via indianexpress.com

INDIA: Woman Electrocuted Touching Switch Board with Wet Hands

January 9, 2013 Leave a comment

NAGPUR, INDIA: Lack of awareness and safety measures claimed the life of a 30-year-old woman who was electrocuted while working with her husband at Navkanya Nagar in Kalamna on Sunday. The couple was digging a well when the incident took place.

It’s learnt that Gnyaneshwar Mahe and his wife Sharda were excavating the earth to construct a well at the residence of one Shyamrao Dabhelkar. As Gnyaneshwar was digging, he asked his wife to throw out the accumulating water. It was at this time when Sharda came in contact with an electric switch board of the motor pump. She collapsed following electrocution and was rushed to a private hospital where she was declared dead. Police said that Sharda had touched the switch board with wet hands. Kalamna police registered a case of accidental death.

Story via Times of India

INDIA: Electrocution from Tree Trimming

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

MARGAO, INDIA: A lineman with the electricity department, Krishna Madhu Velip, 35, was electrocuted after coming into contact with a live high tension wire at Costi, Kalay, on Tuesday morning. Velip was a resident of Barcem, Quepem.

Police sources said that Velip had climbed a ladder to cut some tree branches that were over electricity lines. The cutting instrument in his hand accidentally touched the live line leading to his electrocution. Police have booked an offence against a junior engineer (JE) and senior lineman under Section 304-A of the IPC.

Story via timesofindia.com

INDIA: Electrocution from Falling In Pool

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

New Helhi, INDIA:  Police failed to make a breakthrough in the death case of a Noida-based businessman who died of electrocution after falling into a swimming pool in Sector 8 on Friday. Neeraj Garg, owner of Noida-based water-proofing company Nivedita Chemicals, went to inspect the swimming pool of Archohm, an architectural firm. Meanwhile, mystery over the death of Garg deepened as an official of the company, who was arrested on Friday was been released on bail on Saturday.

Garg was electrocuted on Friday morning when he fell into a swimming pool that had high-voltage current flowing through a live wire. Police have registered an FIR under Section 304A of the IPC against Saurabh Gupta (architect and managing director), SP Gupta (engineer and director) and Shiv Dutt Sharma of Archohm, an architectural firm constructing the pool on its roof. Police had arrested RK Gupta, father of Saurabh Gupta but later released him on bail. Police also interrogated several employees of Archohm. “We are still investigating and it would be too early to set the responsibility,” said a police official.

Story via dailypioneer.com

INDIA: 56% of Industrial Incidents caused by Electrical Faults

November 14, 2012 Leave a comment

India: Electrical faults seem to be the major reason for industrial disasters in the country as 56 per cent of incidents are reportedly caused by them.

Overheating, ageing of the material and use of sub-standard quality of electrical gadgets have been the main factors contributing to the increasing electrical fire accidents in industries in the past four years, said V. Srinivas, member of the Fire and Security Association of India (FSAI) National Executive Board.

Quoting the National Crime Records Bureau statistics, Mr. Srinivas said that eight per cent of the deaths in industries were of electrical origin.

He was speaking at the inaugural function of the three-day workshop on ‘Electrical and Fire Safety-EFSWIN-2012’ organised by FSAI at HICC in Madhapur here.

“Electricity is not just a lifeline. It can also take away life when handled improperly,” he said.

In the recent past, the country has witnessed two major fire accidents.

The fire in AMRI hospital in Kolkata claimed 92 lives, while 32 persons were charred to death on board the Chennai-bound Tamil Nadu Express at Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh.

Chief Guest, Energy Department Principal Secretary Mritunjay Sahoo said problems related to electricity required larger public interest and appropriate intervention both by the State Government and other organisations. “Every one depends on electricity in their day-to-day life these days and reasons for compromising safety is the cost of the equipment coupled with ignorance,” he said.

He called upon the organisers to conduct awareness programmes in smaller towns to impart knowledge on latest trends in fire and electrical safety.

The FSAI is organising the workshop to enhance awareness on the potential hazards of mismanaging fire and electricity and to understand the behaviour and methods to avert fire accidents.

Focus would also be laid on educating people on recent trends and technologies in the field.

Story via thehindu.com

INDIA: 32 die in Electrical Fire on Train

HYDERABAD, INDIA:   Thirty-two people were killed yesterday when fire ripped through a coach of an overnight express train carrying sleeping passengers from New Delhi to the southern city of Chennai.  An electrical short circuit was thought to be the most likely cause of the tragedy on the long-distance service, which happened in the early hours of the morning near the town of Nellore in Andhra Pradesh state.

Dozens of rescuers and survivors, together with a crowd of onlookers, watched as the blackened and twisted bodies of victims, some burnt beyond recognition, were carried out of the train and laid in rows alongside the railway line.  Relatives of the victims wailed and screamed, while dazed survivors sat quietly.  “I woke up when people were rushing into our compartment,” said a passenger called Shantanu. “I was in S-10, which was attached to the S-11 coach that caught fire. There was smoke all around. We tried to open the emergency window. People jumped out of it.” The central government’s press office said that 32 people had lost their lives and 25 were injured. It added that families of the deceased would be offered 500,000 rupees (Dh33,000) compensation.

Nellore’s chief district official, B Sreedhar, said that preliminary investigations suggested a short circuit near a toilet had started the electrical fire.  The railway minister, Mukul Roy, said an investigation was underway. “Nothing can be excluded and nothing can be said without an investigation,” he added, shortly before rescuers completed their search for bodies, which had lasted almost 12 hours.  The train was travelling at 110 kilometres per hour when it went through Nellore station, where staff noticed the fire and informed railway authorities. The burning carriage was quickly detached from the rest of the train which prevented the fire spreading.

The prime minister, Manmohan Singh, sent his condolences and has asked the national railways ministry to coordinate the relief effort, his office said.  India’s accident-prone rail network remains the country’s main form of long-distance travel, despite fierce competition from airlines. While new airport infrastructure is appearing, Indian railways – a much-romanticised legacy of British colonial rule – often appear stuck in a time-warp.  There were two fatal accidents in May this year alone. A collision killed 25 people near the southern city of Bangalore andf our people died when a train derailed in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

In March, Dinesh Trivedi, the railway minister, unveiled a draft budget for 2012-13 that included a major safety upgrade financed by across-the-board fare hikes. He was forced to withdraw it and resign after a rebellion by his own party, the Trinamool Congress, which objected to increasing ticket prices for the poorest travellers. Figures from the National Crime Records Bureau, which gathers the causes of fatalities across India, reveal that in 2009, 25,705 people died on the railways. The vast majority involved people falling from the open doors of carriages or being hit on the tracks.  India’s worst rail accident was in 1981 when a train plunged into a river in the eastern state of Bihar, killing an estimated 800 people.

Story via The National

INDIA: 20 year-old Worker Electrocuted

Srinagar, May 12: The alleged negligence of the Power Development Department (PDD) officials Saturday resulted in the death of a 20-year-old daily wager that triggered off protests here.  Bilal Ahmad, 20, son of Sonaullah Moglu of Khansahab, Budgam, who was working as a daily wager in the PDD, died of electrocution while repairing 11 KV power line near Sub-division Karan Nagar. He was brought dead to SMHS where hundreds of people including his family members and colleagues held protests and raised slogans against the higher ups.   The additional battalions of police wearing riot gears were deployed at the SMHS to prevent the escalation of protests. Scores of daily wagers gathered at Karan Nagar and staged anti-department demonstrations. Chanting slogans, the protesters charged the officials for the death of their colleague. Besides demanding compensation for the family of the deceased, the protesters also demanded implementation of risk and medical allowance to all daily wagers while performing their duties.
Several shops were also closed in the Karan Nagar area as a mark of protest.   According to the family, Ahmad joined PDD a nearly a year ago as a daily wager. “The department officials would often assign him the risky jobs to deal with the high tension supply line, which he was not trained in,” Bilal’s brother, Gulzar Ahmad told Greater Kashmir. “They killed my brother due to their unscrupulous nature.”  “We put our lives on risk to serve the department. The government, without any hesitation should implement risk, medical and welfare allowances to the PDD employees” Farooq Ahmad, a daily wager said.   “Such electrical accidents have become a daily affair. Every week a daily wager loses his life or turns disable due to the carelessness of the department. Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah must look into the matter and save the lives of PDD employees,” he said.   Bilal’s body was later handed over to his family members for last rites.

Story via Greater Kashmir

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India: Workers Electrocuted, Owner Arrested for Negligence

PUNE, INDIA: Two workers died due to electrocution at an ice cream manufacturing unit at Malwadi in Hadapsar on Wednesday. The incident took place when the two were working near a freezer and came in contact with a live electricity cable connected to it.

The Hadapsar police identified the deceased as Vinodsingh Shrisevaram Rajput (22), from Hadapsar, and Ramu Amarsingh Thakur (24), from Moshi. Rajput originally hailed from Rajasthan, while Thakur was from Uttar Pradesh. The owner of the unit, Prabhuram Chunnilal Kadwasara, a resident of Tupenagar in Hadapsar, was arrested by the police for causing death due to electrical safety negligence.

Story via Times of India

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