Mumbai: Boy tries to click selfie atop train, suffers 25,000V electric shock

The boy had gone to the Jogeshwari railway yard with his friends and was clicking photos of himself committing acts of daredevilry; he suffered 90% burns and is fighting for his life

A 16-year-old’s desire to click selfies while committing acts of daredevilry led to him sustaining an electric shock from a 25,000-volt overhead wire on Sunday. The boy, who has suffered 90% burns, is fighting for his life at KEM hospital.

The compartment at the Jogeshwari yard atop which Ganesh Kumkumawati suffered the shock
The compartment at the Jogeshwari yard atop which Ganesh Kumkumawati suffered the shock

Ganesh Kumkumawati

The incident took place around 3.30 pm on Sunday, when Ganesh Kumkumawati was at the Jogeshwari railway yard with two of his friends. Railway officials and labourers saw the trio clicking photos of themselves on the tracks, and asked them to stop, but the boys continued to wander around the premises.

Kumkumawati was reportedly taking a photograph of himself atop the compartment of a standing train when he accidentally touched the overhead wire, which had 25,000 volts of current coursing through it. His friends allegedly made a run for it after the accident and some other boys informed B T Sharma, the on-duty station superintendent.

“I had seen the boys taking pictures on the tracks, but when we try to stop such groups from entering the yard, they argue and fight with us instead of going away. Hence, I didn’t pay much attention to them and went into my office,” said Sharma. However, a few children came running towards Sharma’s office after half an hour or so and informed him that a boy had met with an accident.

“These children said they were playing cricket nearby and had seen the incident. They said they didn’t know who the boys were,” said Sharma, adding that he informed the RPF personnel on duty about the incident. The RPF official rushed to the spot and called the emergency medical services ambulance service (108) as well as the Vanrai police station, under whose jurisdiction the area falls.

“The youngster’s body was completely blackened and there was smoke emanating from it. His clothes were also tattered from the shock. To my surprise, when I tried to talk to him, he managed to tell me his name as well as give me his father’s contact details,” said Attar Singh, an RPF official.

Family distraught
Kumkumawati’s parents were called to the spot and they were shocked to see their son in such a state. “They were helpless and shocked. We also found a cigarette packet in the boy’s pocket, which added to the family’s grief,” said Singh.

“We have no clue what he was doing there in the yard. He had said he was going to Churchgate to buy clothes. His phone had also been switched off,” said Vibhor Kumkum-awati, the boy’s father. The boy, who had been rushed to the Jogeshwari Trauma Centre, was shifted to KEM hospital yesterday for better treatment.

“He has sustained 90% burn injuries and his condition is critical. We are trying our best to stabilise him,” said a doctor from KEM hospital. Officials said only one RPF personnel mans the entire area from Goregaon to Jogeshwari and even staff members are scared of ruffians in the yard.

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