Khammam: Ten-year-old Barapati Spandana who lived in the SC Welfare Hostel located in NSP Quarters, died when a tubelight under which she was sleeping exploded and set the room on fire.
Firefighters reached the hostel and brought the flames under control. Only then was Spandana’s body found.
Pravallika, one of the rescued students, said, “We were asleep and woke up with the sound of the exploding tubelight. I jumped from my cot and noticed the flames spreading.”
Pravallika and another student Nandini had been sleeping on either side of Spandana and were in a state of shock. They were sent to a hospital for treatment.
Spandana’s parents B. Sanjeev and Laxmi, from Maddirala village in Nutankal mandal, Suryapet district, were called and told the tragic news.
Hostel warden V. Vinoda said, “I left the hostel at 9 pm and I received a phone call at 11.50 pm on the fire accident. I informed the higher officials immediately.”
It is fortunate that there were only 10 students in the room at the time of the fire incident. There are 105 students in this hostel of whom 70 were away.
Social welfare director V Satyanarayana gave the bereaved parents `20,000 in cash and `2 lakh in cheque as compensation from the government.
According to the electricity department, rainwater must have fallen on the tubelight, which was situated under the ventilator, and this caused the short circuit.
N. Nageswara Rao, district CPM secretary, said that the incident showed the conditions in welfare hostels and said the electric wiring in hostels should be checked immediately. Hostel warden V. Vinoda and watchman Laxmi have been suspended. A show cause notice has also been issued to assistant warden Srilatha .
It had rained on Sunday night. The little girl’s bed was under a tubelight. There were nine other children sleeping in the hostel room. When the tubelight exploded it fell directly on Spandana who died on the spot.
The flames from the tubelight spread to the room and set the beds on fire. There was thick smoke which made it difficult for the other girls to breathe. They were in the dark and shouted with fear.
Fortunately, watch woman N Laxmi who was on duty that night, rushed into the room, saw the flames and smoke, and began getting the other girls out of the room one by one. She saved all the other nine girls in the room. She could not see Spandana in the room full of smoke, and this is what pains her the most. "It is a very sad incident in my life that I failed to notice her in the thick smoke," she said sadly.
Two students of a nearby hostel, Veerababu and Narayana, rushed to the girls' hostel after hearing the shouts and helped in the rescue and evacuation of the hostel....