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Karachi

August 31, 2018

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Both arms of two minor boys amputated after electrocution

Two minor boys lost both their arms after they were electrocuted in different accidents in a span of 10 days in August, according to health officials at Dr Ruth KM Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK).

The latest incident took place on August 24, the third day of Eidul Azha, when eight-year-old Muhammad Umer stepped out of his residence and accidently touched a high-tension electricity wire lying on the ground.

Ten days before that, nine-year-old seminary student Haris’ accidentally touched high-tension electricity wires on the roof of his madrasa on August 14, Independence Day, while chasing a chicken.  

Muhammad Umer

Surgeons at the CHK’s Burns Centre amputated both arms of Umer, who had touched a live wire near his house in the Ahsanabad area. After feeling the electric shock, he had tried to use his other hand to free himself but both the arms were badly burnt.

“Umer had been sent out to a corner shop for bringing something home where he accidently touched a live wire,” the boy’s father Muhammad Arif told The News on Thursday. “Both of his hands were badly burnt by the time we reached there. We shifted him to the Burns Centre at the Civil Hospital, where they amputated both of his arms.”

He said the child remained under treatment at the Burns Centre after the incident until both of his upper limbs were amputated at the hospital this past Wednesday. In response to a question, he said that neither K-Electric nor any government official had approached him at the hospital after the incident, adding that he had to bear the trauma alone, and his child would now have to spend the rest of his life without his arms.

“My son has lost both his arms due to the negligence of K-Electric and the government functionaries who all knew that live wires are lying on the ground, but nobody came to remove them despite repeated complaints. I have decided to approach the judiciary for necessary action against the culprits and damages.”

Dr Ahmer al Ibran at the CHK’s Burns Centre said Umer was brought in critical condition after he was electrocuted, adding that following the initial assessment, they had no other option left but to amputate both of his arms.

“Unfortunately, one of his arms has been separated from his body near the shoulder and the other has been amputated above the elbow, so it would be very difficult for him to use artificial limbs at the moment.”  

Haris

Madrasa student Haris fell victim to electrocution after he touched live wires while chasing a chicken on the roof of his seminary in the Mominabad locality of Orangi Town, resulting in both his arms being badly burnt.

“I was present at the burns ward of the CHK on August 14 when Haris was brought to me with both his arms badly burnt,” said Dr Ibran. “He told me he was chasing a chicken that climbed up a tree. When he tried to grab it, he accidentally touched the electricity wires.”

Dr Ibran said that since one of Haris’ arms was amputated below the elbow, there is a chance that he might be able to get a prosthetic arm.  

KE ‘saddened’

The power supply company KE said that they are deeply saddened over the unfortunate incident that took place in Ahsanabad, and that their sympathies are with the family.

“We are taking this matter very seriously and remain available to extend support to the family, including medical expenses, during this time,” a spokesman for the utility said, adding that they would also provide support in getting prosthetics for the child.

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