Five high school students electrocuted at Koppal hostel

Devaraj Hadapad, Ganesh Kuri, Kumar Lamani, Basavaraj Jelli and Mallikarjun Obalabandi

Five students at D Devaraj Urs Pre-Matric Hostel in Koppal were electrocuted on Sunday when they came into contact with an 11 kV power line while removing a flag post erected for Independence Day celebrations.

The victims are Mallikarjun Amaresh Obalabandi (16), a native of Metagal; Basavaraj Fakeerappa Jelli (16) of Mukkumpi in Gangavati taluk; Devaraj Nagappa Hadapad (14) of Halageri; Ganesh Nagappa Kuri (14) of Lachanakeri, and Kumar Lachamappa Lamani of Bidnal.

According to police, the BCM hostel was functioning out of a private building owned by Basanagouda Hirevankalkunta near Bannikatti area. On Sunday morning, the hostel warden instructed the students to remove the flag post erected on the rooftop. Two students were electrocuted first after the flag post came into contact with the line running adjacent to the first floor. Three others who rushed to save the two also suffered severe burns and died.

Hostel warden Basavaraj Belavatti was arrested and remanded in judicial custody. Complaints have also been lodged against Gescom AEE Sachin and the house owner for negligence.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa ordered a probe and announced Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased.

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