Girl, 7, dies after touching live transformer switch

The transformer switch (extreme right) that seven-year-old Sharanya touched.

A seven-year-old girl was electrocuted when she touched a live transformer switch on Saturday. Her elder sister who was with her could only watch in horror and despair. 

The incident at Dodda Thatta Mangala village in Devanahalli taluk, Bengaluru Rural district, has brought to the fore the lack of safety measures in Bescom projects. The transformer was set up just three months ago as part of the utility agency’s Niranthara Jyothi project, under which three-phase power is supplied to non-agricultural loads in rural areas. 

The victim, Sharanya, and her sister Navya Shree, 9, were walking to their uncle’s house at the time of the incident around 5.40 pm. As Sharanya passed by the side of a drain, she came in contact with the transformer switch and sustained electric shocks. Navya Shree screamed for help, drawing neighbours and their family members. Sharanya died on the way to a hospital, police said quoting doctors who examined her. 

Sharanya’s father Nagaraj is a security guard and mother Manjula a homemaker. Sharanya had finished upper kindergarten and was to join the first grade. Following a complaint from the parents, police booked Bescom officials and the Niranthara Jyothi contractor for accidental death due to criminal negligence. 

A senior police officer said the transformer switch was usually used by linemen for changing lines. Something like this should not be live at a height or distance where a child could touch it, he added. 

According to an engineer, electricity doesn’t usually pass through the transformer switch. It must have happened due to a technical snag, he added. 

Ram Nivas Sepat, Superintendent of Police, Bengaluru Rural, said all those involved would be held culpable for criminal negligence. 

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