55-year-old salesman succumbs to burns; electrical short circuit suspected
A television running on an inverter exploded at the house of an ailing 55-year-old man in Kondithope, Seven Wells, here on Wednesday evening, and is believed to have caused a fire. K. Nagalingam, whose house it was, suffered severe burns and later died in hospital.
Seven Wells police say the incident took place around 4.30 p.m. at the residence on Lawyer Chinna Thambi Street, when Nagalingam was alone at home. His wife Usha had gone to a temple nearby and his sister Mallika had gone to a neighbour's house. As there was a scheduled power cut in the area from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Nagalingam switched on the inverter he had installed last Friday, to watch television. A few minutes later, neighbours heard an explosion and smoke began pouring out of the house, police added.
Nagalingam's wife Usha, returned at 4.45 p.m. to find people pouring water into her house and trying to put out the fire. “They prevented me from entering the house assuming that there was no one inside. When I screamed out that my husband was trapped, they immediately broke open the front door and we entered,” said Usha, who was in tears.
Usha saw her husband walk out of their bedroom covered in burns and with injuries on his head. “We rushed him to the Government Kilpauk Hospital in an auto rickshaw but he died around 11 in the night,” she added. Nagalingam, a salesperson with an umbrella showroom on NSC Bose Road had been on leave for two months due to health problems.
He is suspected to have dozed off in the bedroom where the TV was, and may not have realised the room was on fire. The explosion of a picture tube neck inside the television is thought to have caused the fire. A mirror on an almirah near the TV was smashed as well, and may have been due to the explosion, police added.
V. Edwin, Leading Fireman from Washermenpet and his team arrived at the house following a call, and put the fire out completely. “Furniture, bed, pillows, television and other electronic goods inside the room were partially burnt. We suspect an electrical short circuit started the fire as the wirings were completely burnt. The inverter system was intact,” Edwin said. Seven Wells police are investigating the cause of the fire. Nagalingam's body was sent for a post-mortem and handed over to his relatives on Thursday afternoon.
Keywords: accidental fire