Pune: About three months after two techies died from burn injuries due to explosion at a transformer in Kharadi, the Pune city police have booked officials of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL), who were responsible for the upkeep of cables at the transformer. They have been charged for causing death due to negligence.
The deceased, Priyanka Anandrao Zagade (24), a native of Satara, who lived in Bhekrainagar, and Pankaj Krushnarao Khune (27), who hailed from Wardha and resided in Warje-Malwadi, were employed with an IT company in Kharadi. On May 11, they had stepped out of their office at around 4.30 pm for a cup of tea and went to a tea stall (A-1 Sandwich) on the footpath near Zensar Company Telephone Centre in Kharadi.
While they were waiting for their orders to come, a fire broke out at the tea stall after an explosion at the transformer premises. The two techies were critically injured after hot transformer oil fell on them and they were rushed to Surya Hospital. The tea stall was completely gutted and the man and the woman sustained serious burns. Priyanka succumbed to injuries on June 16, while Khune died at a hsopital in Wardha on June 15.
The family members of the deceased had claimed that the fatal fire was sparked by an explosion in a transformer on the footpath. However, MSEDCL officials had then ruled out the transformer explosion theory and lodged an FIR against the tea stall owner for running an illegal stall and causing damage to the transformer. “Both of them had got injured due to the fire at the stall. The fire had spread to the mango trees behind the tea stall, and then it reached the transformer. There was no fault in the transformer,” the Yerwada electricity inspector stated in his report to the police.
However, the cops had sent samples to the forensic science laboratory on Ganeshkhind Road and the Superintending Engineer, Pune Regional Electrical Inspection Circle. After getting expert opinions, the police came to the conclusion that the LT cable on the transformer premises was not kept in good condition and the concerned MSEDCL officials didn’t take precautionary measures, though there was a history of trips and faults in the feeder. Thus, there was an explosion in the LT cable, which led to fire at the transformer and the tea stall. Police also recorded statements of eight witnesses as well as the two injured persons.
Based on a complaint from PSI SY Patil of Chandan Nagar police station, an FIR has been registered with the police station against the unidentified officials of MSEDCL who were responsible for upkeep of the LT cable. They have been charged for offences under sections 304a (causing death due to negligence), 427 (damage to property) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). PSI RB Rajput is investigating the case further.