Five farm workers were charred to death when a high-tension power supply cable snapped on being disturbed by a squirrel and fell on the autorickshaw in which they were travelling, turning the three-wheeler into a ball of fire in Satya Sai district of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday.
An iron cot atop the auto is said to have conducted the electricity and led to the fire. The victims, all women in their 30s, were said to be related to each other.
The squirrel had climbed onto the electrical pole, causing a short circuit of the wire and the cross-arm. “This led to the snapping of the high-tension cable,” AP Southern Power Distribution Company chairman and managing director Haranadh said.
Two riders who suffered severe burn injuries have been hospitalised.