Girls, aged 5 and 7, drown in open drain in Agra

  • | Friday | 8th December, 2023

AGRA: Two girls, aged five and seven, drowned after they slipped and fell into an open drain in Dhanauli, Agra district. The children were going to watch a wedding procession with their family late on Wednesday.Ironically, this is not the first time the same open drain has resulted in a deadly accident. Last year, a four-year-old child died after falling into it.Deputy commissioner of police (west) Sonam Kumar said that a boy accompanying the girls -- Nisha (7), and Alfiza (5) -- informed their families after which cops rushed from Malpura police station and immediately launched a search operation."The girls had fallen into a seven-ft wide and 15-ft deep drain, so their rescue operation was challenging. Alfiza was rescued within 20 minutes of falling and Nisha was found three hours later. They were rushed to SN Medical College where doctors declared both girls dead on arrival," said a senior official. District magistrate Bhanu Chand Goswami said, "A probe has been ordered. Directions have been issued for time-bound action to prevent any such accidents in future." Nishas father Kaley Khan, and Alfizas father Shareef Khan worked as labourers. While Nisha had four siblings including a brother, Alfiza had two sisters and two brothers. They were neighbours and used to reside in rented accommodations. Family members of the dead accused local authorities of causing death by negligence. "Had the drain been covered, the tragedy wouldnt have taken place," said a family member."The slabs over the drain were damaged over six months ago. Complaints were made but local authorities didnt take any action. This is a case of causing death by negligence. An FIR should be registered," said social activist Savitri Chahar. In the past six years, at least eight people have died in Agra after falling into drains. In September, deep pits illegally dug by brick kiln owners proved to be fatal as two kids, Sadiq Ali, 8, and Mohd Asif, 10, drowned in them in Sambhal district.Last month, Karnataka HC imposed a fine of one lakh on the city municipal council, Hosapete in Vijayanagar district, for taking 10 years to award compensation to the father of a six-year-old child who was washed away in an open drain in July 2013. During the pendency of the petition filed by the victims father, the authorities had paid a compensation of Rs 5 lakh under the Disaster Management Act.

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