Electrocution of TN MBBS student at Wayanad resort, owner arrested for neglecting earth leakage

Balaji. Photo: Special arrangement

Kalpetta: Two months after an MBBS student from Tamil Nadu, Balaji, died of electrocution near the swimming pool at a resort in Wayanad, the police have arrested the resort owner for allegedly ignoring warning about earth leakage from a steel fence around the pool.
Meppadi police arrested one of the owners of a resort in connection with the death of the student. The incident happened in the swimming pool of a resort near Meppadi on March 25. A police team headed by Meppadi police station Station House Officer B K Siju arrested one of the accused Chundakunnummal Veettil C K Sherafudheen, 32, owner of the resort,on Saturday.

Soon after the mishap police had sealed off the entire resort and had examined the spot with the help of experts from the Department of Forensics and Kerala State Electricity Board. According to SHO BK Siju, more arrests are likely in the incident as one more owner and another electrician are yet to be nabbed.

Police had recovered the Whatsapp messages between Sherafudheen and the chief electrician of the resort in which the electrician had warned the resort owner about the possible power leakage from the steel fence when the lights of the pool were switched on. The investigation revealed that the resort owner had neglected the advice of the wiring technician that the lights around the pool should not be switched on, which eventually led to the electrocution of the student, police said.

A group of 12 students from Government Medical College, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu arrived at the resort in the afternoon on the fateful day and the students entered the pool by 7 pm. Balaji, 21, along with friends came out of the pool after 20 minutes. Balaji's chest brushed the steel fence, suffered an electric shock and died on the spot. His friends also suffered shock while trying to save him.

The District Electrical Inspector V Sumesh who had examined the spot, in his report said that there had been serious violations in the electrical systems at the resort. Though the resort owner had prior information that there was a possibility of danger to those who entered the pool, there was grave neglect on the part of the accused who allowed visitors to the pool without rectifying the electrical glitches, the report said.

Though the temporary connection was given only for construction purposes, without applying for a regular connection, the same connection was used by the owner for other purposes, it was pointed out. Though there was a Residual Current Circuit Breaker (RCCB) to regulate the current flow to the building, the equipment was bypassed which resulted in the passage of high-voltage power to the building even after the accident, the report further noted. 

Father of Balaji, T Ayyappan, a resident of Dindigul, Tamil Nadu told Onmanorama that right punishment should be given to all the accused involved in the illegal operation of the resort without proper repair and maintenance. Justice should be ensured to me and my family, said Ayyappan, a teacher at Dindigul. Balaji was his elder son and the younger son is a student.

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