At least nine people died of electrocution as rain lashed the metropolis, ripping down electricity cables and seeping into power sockets.
Edhi centre official Anwar Kazmi told The Express Tribune that more deaths could occur if the rain continues, not only from electrocution but also from drowning, road accidents and collapsing billboards, roofs and walls. In what was probably the most tragic accident, four members of a family died of electrocution in the Bagh-e-Ali building near Chuna Bhatti, Bohrapir within Eidgah police limits. Edhi sources claim that Imran, a plumber, was not home when a kunda wire (illegal electricity connection) fell into some water collected at the stairs of his house. His 40-year-old wife, Nazia, 13-year-old daughter, Mehek, and nieces, Azra, 16 and Khizra, 11, all suffered electric shocks. One of the women was electrocuted and when the rest tried to help her, the current passed along to the other.
The victims were moved to Civil hospital by volunteers who flocked to the scene but they were pronounced dead on arrival. Rescuers were hampered by the five to six feet of water collected outside their homes due to the area’s old drainage. The family took their bodies away without completing legal formalities.
District South SSP Naeem Sheikh said that there was no case registered as the electrocution was accidental. SHO Shafiq Tanoli refused to confirm that the accident was because of an illegal connection.
Separately, 18-year-old Naveed died in Model Colony while Arif died of electrocution at Haroonabad in the Site area. An unidentified man died of electrocution when an electricity cable snapped and fell on II Chundrigar Road while another John Doe was found dead near Mewa Shah Graveyard in Pak Colony.
Meanwhile, a woman named Anisa died in Kharadar. The victims were taken to Civil hospital, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where a state of emergency was declared. Ambulance drivers and volunteers are on high alert while people living in old city areas and katchi abadis have been advised to avoid using electrical machinery or making unnecessary movements.
Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan also took the notice of the rain-related accidents and ordered authorities concerned to take precautionary measures while the Karachi Electricity Supply Company has advised people to avoid using electrical appliances while it is raining.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2011.