Rs 2 lakh for family of teen boy who died in chemical fire

Rs 2 lakh for family of teen boy who died in chemical fire
Mysuru district in-charge minister H C Mahadevappa on Monday announced ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the family of Harshal, the 14-year-old boy who died from burns he had suffered in a fire on a farmland at Shadanahalli on the outskirts of Mysuru.

The minister visited the village and announced the ex gratia under the chief minister’s fund. On April 14, Harshal and his 17-year-old friend, Manoj, had gone to the farmland to relieve themselves. They chose a heap that looked like sand. Manoj was the first to suffer burns on the legs. Harshal tried to pull him away but fell into the heap and sustained severe burns.

Manjunath, a native of Shadanahalli, was injured on April 10 when he went to the spot to attend the nature’s call. He, too, had stepped on the sand-like heap. He is now being treated at the KR Hospital. Following Manjunath’s injury, villagers brought the matter to the notice of the jurisdictional Metagalli police.

The minister announced that the government would foot the medical bill of Manoj as well as Manjunath.

Preliminary enquiry suggested that the land had become a dumping ground for toxic waste for the last five years. The 4.15-acre land in survey number 329 under Naganahalli gram panchayat belongs to one Swami alias Boregowda. It is located beside the Varuna canal and surrounded by industries such as the Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Pvt Ltd.

Mysuru Deputy Commissioner D Randeep said a preliminary test found no acid content in the soil. The exact cause of the fire will be known once detailed reports arrive, he added.

P Panduranga, Joint Director (Mines and Geology), suspected that the fire was caused by chemicals — especially those used in the steel and coal industries. “This is not a volcano or earthquake. But we have to ascertain what chemical caused the fire,” he said.

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