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3-yr-old dies in 45ft fall

In a chilling rerun of the Bistupur tragedy, the three-year-old daughter of a civil contractor fell to her death from the fourth floor of a residential highrise in Harharguttu, Parsudih, while her mother was busy in the kitchen on Wednesday morning.

Yukta Dalai was the only child of Jasbir Dalai (33) and wife Rupa (27). While shock numbed the woman who could not speak to the police or media after the incident, father Jasbir blamed his reluctance to protect their balcony with grille for their bereavement.

Though no one had seen the child trip over the balcony railing at Neelkanth Nilyam, Parsudih police spared the traumatised parents the stress of a post-mortem and handed over Yukta’s body for last rites without elaborate paperwork.

According to local residents, the child was spotted in a pool of blood — her skull smashed and backbone broken under the impact of the 45ft fall — around 10am. “At first, I thought it to be a pillow or some large doll. But then, I saw blood,” neighbour Umesh Pandey recalled in horror.

Shrieks of disbelief from those who saw the child in that condition made residents of Neelkanth Nilyam, including the victim’s mother, come out to their own balconies. Realising it was Yukta, Rupa darted to the ground floor and outside. With the help of some neighbours, she rushed her baby to Tata Main Hospital (TMH), a 30-minute drive from Harharguttu, but could not save her. Doctors at the emergency declared Yukta brought dead.

Jasbir, who was not home at the time of the accident, reached hospital heartbroken. “Most balconies at our apartment are fully covered with iron grille. I was negligent despite having a child at home. It is my fault. She was my only child,” the father sobbed.

A relative said that though no one saw how Yukta fell, they assumed that she was bending over the low railing out of curiosity and lost balance.

Parsudih OC Dayanand Kumar confirmed it was an accident. “The child fell from the fourth floor balcony while playing on her own as her mother was in the kitchen. She was rushed to hospital in an extremely critical condition, but did not make it,” he said, adding that they did not refer the body for post-mortem, considering Yukta’s tender age, and had handed it over to her parents for last rites.

On July 31, two-year-old Shaad Khan had fallen from the second floor of a five-storey apartment in the Dhatkidih area of Bistupur. He died during treatment at TMH. Like Yukta, he was an only child.


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