A tree on the Missionaries of Charity premises was uprooted on Tuesday, killing a woman. (Bishwarup Dutta)
The incessant rain and waterlogging claimed three members of a family in Hooghly’s Hind Motor on Tuesday.
Ankita Saha, 13, who was returning from school, died of electrocution after touching her apartment block’s iron gate that was partly under water, while her parents met their end in their bid to save her.
The sole survivor in the family, the couple’s five-year-old daughter, was sleeping in their first-floor flat when the tragedy struck around 1.50pm.
CESC officials suspect the iron gate and the water had got electrified after coming in contact with open wires from a meter-box.
Residents blamed CESC for the deaths, saying the girl’s father, Amalesh Saha, had called the utility thrice to complain about the accumulation of water which he felt could lead to electrocution. “The last call was made at least two hours before the accident but no one from the company came for inspection,” said a neighbour of the Sahas.
CESC, however, denied any laxity on its part. “I have no knowledge about any previous complaints. We switched off supply to the area the moment we learnt about the incident (the deaths). We have started an inquiry,” said Avijit Ghosh, general manager, low tension division, CESC.
Neighbours said Ankita screamed as soon as she touched the collapsible gate of the apartment block, which was partly under water. Amalesh and wife Krishna, alerted by their daughter’s cries, ran down but both got electrocuted when they tried to drag the girl from the gate by her hand.
The tragedy unfolded in front of at least two neighbours, who saw the trio convulse to death but could not lend a helping hand. “I rushed out of my ground-floor flat hearing their cries but did not dare touch them for fear of suffering the same fate. We tried to separate them from each other by throwing shoes and sticks but that could not save their lives,” said Amalanshu Basu.
The bodies were lying at the gate for over 30 minutes till some boys from the neighbourhood climbed an adjacent wall and tugged them out one after one with wooden sticks.
The cops stood at least 25 metres from the spot, too scared to step into the water.