Open pit claims boy’s life

Special Correspondent
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Teenager drowned while trying to swim in uncovered drainage ditch

N. Nehemiah
N. Nehemiah

A 14-year-old boy drowned on Saturday evening in an uncovered pit, at Arul Nagar in Irumbuliyur, dug up as part of an underground drainage project.

Nehemiah, son of Nithyanandan of Devanesan Nagar, had gone with his friends to Arul Nagar to spend the evening. On seeing the pit, filled to the brim after the recent rains, the boys jumped in for a splash.

Before long, the frolicking friends of Nehemiah discovered he had not surfaced. Panic-sticken, the boys raised an alarm. Hearing their cries of distress, residents gathered and informed the Peerkankaranai police.

The body was later pulled out of the pit, believed to be 30-feet-wide and 30-feet-deep.

It had been left uncovered and did not have a safety barricade. A case under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has been registered.

Nehemiah was a class IX student at the Government Boys Higher Secondary School in Peerkankaranai.

Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board is executing the Rs. 160-crore underground drainage project for Tambaram municipality.

The project is at an advanced stage and is expected to go operational in a few months, at least in West Tambaram.

Attempts to contact the Metrowater engineers over phone went in vain.

This is not the first time a youngster’s life has been snuffed out in this fashion in Tambaram municipality. In August 2011, an 11-year-old boy died when he slipped and fell into a water-filled unprotected pit inside the premises of Municipal Higher Secondary School in Selaiyur.

A month later, an eight-year-old girl died in a similar pit dug up for the construction of a pumping station in Krishna Nagar, West Tambaram.

More recently, in July, at Pallikaranai, where Metrowater is executing an underground drainage project, a worker died when a pit caved in while a street was being dug up for laying underground distribution lines.

In another pit-related mishap, a group of people had a miraculous escape a year ago when a share autorickshaw they were travelling by fell into an open trench on the margins of a street in Selaiyur.




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