The simple, mundane act of fetching water from the sump resulted in the electrocution of four people at Hongasandra near Bommanahalli here on Wednesday evening.
Two of the dead are sisters and the other two are first-floor neighbours. A passerby who tried to help has been hospitalised. His condition is not life-threatening.
According to preliminary information received by the Madivala police, the incident occurred around 9 p.m. when Shalini (19) went to collect water from the sump on the ground floor of the house where she lived with her two sisters Sandhya (23) and Priya.
As Shalini dropped the bucket into the sump, she was electrocuted and fell into the sump. Hearing her screams, Sandhya rushed to her help, only to suffer the same horrendous fate.
The commotion attracted the attention of Narendra and Madhusudan, who lived on the first floor of the building. The two, natives of Orissa, rushed down to their aid.
At the same time, Jayanth Mistri (20), a native of Kolkata, who was passing by, came to their rescue. All the three suffered electric shock, one after the other.
One of the eyewitnesses was Raju, an electrician. Realising what was happening, he immediately cut the wires in the panel board and pulled the victims out of the sump. “All of them looked dead even before I pulled them out,” he told reporters later.
All the five were taken to St. John's Hospital but only Jayanth survived. The surviving sister, Priya, was inconsolable.
It is suspected that short circuit in the motor, which is a few metres away from the sump, was the cause of the electrocution. Sources said substandard cable had allegedly been used and there was no earth leakage circuit breaker (ELCB).
While Shalini and Sandhya, said to be from Vellore, worked at a garment factory near Electronics City, Narendra and Madhusudan were carpenters. Jayanth is a tailor. The owner of the three-storey building, in which the four victims had rented space, does not live there.
Additional Commissioner Sunil Kumar and DCP (Southeast) P.S. Harsha visited the spot.
Shocked residents said they had never seen anything like this in their lives. They said they would demand for compensation from the Government for the victims' families. They pointed out that there were several loose wires hanging from electric poles that needed to be attended to.