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Catching a pigeon cost him his life

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Tragic: Robert was charred to death after he came into contact with a high-tension wire in Bangalore on Tuesday.
Tragic: Robert was charred to death after he came into contact with a high-tension wire in Bangalore on Tuesday.

Staff Reporter

Bangalore: All he did was to try reaching out to catch a pigeon but this playful gesture ended his life in a macabre fashion.

Sixteen-year-old Robert was charred to death while chasing a pigeon on Tuesday, when he inadvertently went close to a double circuit 66 kV line hanging low over the first floor of a building in Anandanagar.

The boy may have been dragged by the magnetic field around the line, a senior official with the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. told The Hindu.

Robert, a resident of RBI Colony in R.T. Nagar, had appeared for the Secondary School Leaving Certificate Examination and was awaiting his results.

The building has been constructed close to a high-tension wire. In fact, the metal canopy on which Robert had climbed is just a few feet below the high-tension line.

The building houses three offices — a chartered accountant’s office, a real estate agency and an Adolescent Youth Centre.

Aruna Prabhu, a resident of Anandanagar, said that Robert would climb atop buildings to catch pigeons, which he later sold.

Though he was an expert at it, she said, “a few days ago, he had climbed on top of another building and almost slipped from the first floor.”

K.S. Ravi of Lakshmi Land Locator, the office of which is in the ground floor of the building, said that the tragedy occurred at around 9 a.m. “When we came to open the office, there was a huge crowd outside the building. The switchboard had caught fire. The electrical implements in our office were damaged,” he said.

When contacted, a senior official with the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. said that he had not received information about the incident until much later in the day.

“Such problems occur because of building violations. According to the Electricity Act, buildings should not be constructed close to high-tension lines. We are not able to enforce the rules in the city, and some cases have even gone till the High Court.”

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