The spot at Babudih where the child was buried alive on Thursday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
A seven-year-old girl was buried alive in Sidhgora police station area of Jamshedpur on Thursday.
Victim Santoshi Kumari was playing in the backyard of her Babudih home, close to a slag heap, when the mishap took place around 11am.
As the child played, a large chunk of slag slid off the heap and fell on her, burying her alive. Before that, a wall that had been erected to separate the slag dump from the adjoining slum, gave way.
Alerted by the cries of the other children who were with the victim, local residents rushed to the spot and dug out the girl. They took her to MGM Medical College and Hospital, a half-an-hour drive away, where she was declared brought dead.
The girl’s parents, both construction workers, were away at work when incident took place. They rushed to the hospital on being informed, only to learn that their daughter had died.
Speaking to The Telegraph, sub-inspector Ganesh Kumar Singh of Sidhgora police station said the girl suffered grievous injuries and died before she could be treated. “We will register a case of unnatural death in this connection,” he said, adding that the body had been sent to the medical college mortuary for post-mortem.
This was not the first time that a slag-dump cave–in had killed anyone in the steel city. On June 15 last year, two scrap scavengers were killed when an abandoned slag dump at Beldihgram on Marine Drive in Sonari caved-in, slackened by a downpour.
Meanwhile, sources said the slum close to the slag-dump where the mishap took place on Thursday had come up on an unauthorised plot, putting the lives of residents in danger. The area is also close to the Subernarekha river.
Subdivisional officer of Dhalbhum Subodh Kumar claimed that he had recently visited all the slag-dumps situated around the steel city and took into account whether they were prone to mishap or not.
“I noticed that the abandoned slag-dumps were being covered with grass and other plants and in some places, walls had been erected,” said the SDO.
He added that he would visit the mishap spot shortly and suggest ways to prevent similar tragedies in future.