Vaikkom: A dairy farmer died after suffering a shock from a live electric wire that had been lying in his field for three months.
The deceased has been identified as K V Raju, 48, of Rahul Nivas, Padinjarekara in Udayanapuram.
The electric wire had snapped from a post near his house.
Locals staged a protest after the death and stormed the Vaikom section office of the electricity department. The bikes of two KSEB employees were smashed.
Raju suffered the shock and fell while cutting grass in the field on Tuesday morning. His son Rahul Raj, who went looking for Raju, also suffered a shock when he touched his father. After experiencing the shock, Rahul climbed out of the field and started screaming.
His neighbours reached the spot and then removed the fuse from a nearby transformer to disconnect the power. Raju was then taken out of the field and rushed to the Vaikom Taluk Hospital. However, his life could not be saved. The funeral was conducted later in the day.
Raju is survived by his wife Minimol, second son Rohit Raj and daughter-in-law Smitha.
The power line used to pass through the field. However, when a new road was laid in the area, the line through the field was abandoned and a new electricity line was drawn over the road.
Three months ago, the line through the field snapped and fell to the ground. Locals informed the electricity board about it and also filed a written complaint. According to the locals, the power department officials told them that there would be no power supply through the broken line.
Relatives said that K V Raju himself had lodged a complaint with the power department three months ago stating that the line lying in his field in front of his house should be removed as he suspected electricity was flowing through it. The KSEB officials did not take any action on the complaint, they alleged.
KSEB assistant executive engineer K Balakrishnan said that he was not aware about the broken line. The line was not disconnected because it was to be used as an interlink to provide electricity in case of any breakdown in the nearby power lines, he said.
District electrical inspector James Kutty Thomas said an investigation has been launched into the incident. He said the site was inspected. There are two transformers on either side of the field’s embankment supplying power on their respective sides. In the past, there was a transformer only on one side. At that time, there was a post in the middle of the field to provide a connection to lines on both the sides, he said.
After a new line was laid and other transformers were installed, the line through the field fell into disuse. However, the power from one side of the field to the post in the middle was not turned off, Thomas said.
The electricity on the field’s border near Raju's house was turned off. But electricity was passing through a section of the line that had snapped three months ago. No one knew about it, he said.
However, Peethambaran Pazhith Vallithara, a local, said the death was caused by the negligence of the electricity department. The authorities of the department were informed about the broken line. They, however, said there was no electricity passing through it as the new line had been laid. That’s why much attention was not paid to it, he said.