In what appears to be gross negligence and a huge oversight on part of construction safety planners, an open lift shaft led to the death of an infant. The two-year-old boy, the son of a laborer couple, succumbed to his injuries hours after he fell into a pit that had been dug for a lift shaft at an under-construction building site in Kodipalya, near Kengeri Gate on Friday morning.

The child’s parents, who hail from Vijayapura, work on the site as construction laborers and watchmen and lived in a temporary shed on the worksite. Kengeri police identified the child as Vinod Kumar, son of Ambarish, a security guard working at BGS Global Hospital and from Koppal. The police suspect that the child, Vinod Kumar, may have followed his mother to the under-construction building when she went to work.

He was playing in the compound of the building, while the parents were working elsewhere in the same building. The boy went near the lift shaft, which is around 10 feet deep. It was filled with water from recent rains. However, he lost his footing and fell into the pit,” said a police officer.

Representative image: source

The police further added that the incident took place early in the morning around 8:30 am, when the child was playing with other children. The mother who was working at a distance did not see it happen, and she raised an alarm when she saw the child missing after some time. However, by then others had already noticed the accident take place.

“Workers in the area saw the boy fall but could not prevent him from falling. They immediately rescued him from the pit. “Vinod was still alive when he was pulled out of the pit, but had a head injury. He was rushed to a nearby private hospital but died a few hours later,” a police official said to The Hindu.

The Kengeri police have not let the incident be taken as a one-off accident. Sanjeev M Patil, deputy commissioner of police (west) said Kengeri police have registered a case of criminal negligence under IPC section 304(a) against building owner Ramesh and legal action will be taken against him.

The lift shaft was kept open with no safety precautions or barricades to prevent anyone from falling. “Given that the pit was around 10 feet deep and was filled with water, it was a potential danger to even adults working at the site. We are investigating the case,” the police said.

Workers who work at construction sites in India lack the basic safety measures both in regard to personal safety and safe environment at the hazardous construction place with adequate safety protocols in place. It is directly to be blamed on the promoters and estate developers who violate safety parameters as a way of cutting costs. As a 2-year-old child lost his life due to such negligence, it should serve as a reminder that there can be no compromise with safety and highlight the need to enforce safety parameters with utmost urgency.

 

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