The windowpane that came off. (Bibhash Lodh)
A toddler playing in front of his mother had a fatal fall from the fourth floor of an apartment building in Bhowanipore on Tuesday afternoon when the windowpane he was leaning on came off.
Hredaan Kamdar, who would have turned three next week, was in the common passage of his family’s apartment with his mother Meghna watching over him when the accident occurred.
“The windowpane suddenly came off and he fell out, landing on the first-floor balcony of the six-storey building,” a family member said.
Hredaan was bleeding from his mouth, nose and ears when he was taken to Belle Vue Clinic, where he died of haemorrhage around 4.30pm.
The Kamdars live in a three-bedroom apartment on the fourth floor of the building at 13 Priyanath Mullick Road, the street opposite Bhowanipore police station. Hredaan was the second of businessman Ruchit Kamdar and wife Meghna’s two children. The couple’s daughter, Disha, is seven.
Some family members held allegedly poor maintenance of the apartment building responsible for the toddler’s death. The windowpane that came off wasn’t fitted properly to the metal frame, they said.
Hredaan had walked out of his family’s flat to the common passage that leads to the stairs and the elevator around 2pm. His mother followed, watching over him as he waddled towards the large, metal-frame window stretching from above the floor skirting till the beam just below the ceiling.
“He sat on the floor skirting and leaned against the window. It came off immediately,” said Rohit Katarya, Hredaan’s uncle.
Rohit said there was nothing unusual about Hredaan coming out of the flat and playing in the common passage with his mother or sister. “Everything happened in front of his mother’s eyes and she is obviously in shock.”
People in the room adjacent to the balcony where Hredaan fell heard a thud and rushed out to find the child almost lifeless on the floor.
“He was brought in with internal haemorrhage. Externally, there was a small cut on his forehead and apparently no fracture,” said an official at Belle Vue Clinic, where he was admitted around 2.30pm. “His blood pressure was falling because of heavy internal bleeding. We put him on ventilator but he died around 4.30pm.”
Family members said Hredaan was to be admitted to a playschool next week after celebrating his third birthday.
“This tragedy occurred because of negligence in maintenance of the building. There has been hardly any maintenance for several years,” Rohit said.
Viresh Vasa, secretary of the residents’ association of the building, contested the allegation. “Maintenance work has been underway for six months,” he said.
The building where the accident occurred is one of two in the same compound, built in the late Eighties. The other one is a five-storey structure.
Police said nobody had lodged a complaint of negligence leading to the boy’s death.