Top shuttler dies trying to repair rly wires

KOLKATA: Bengal’s top-ranked doubles player, Trinankur Nag, who used to work with Eastern Railway, died on Monday, two days after 25,000 volts of current passed through his body while he was doing maintenance job on a railway overhead wire at the Narkeldanga car shed. His kin alleged power to the wrong overhead wire was switched off while he continued to work on the “live” wire.

“Power was switched off to the wire above track 5 and not to the wire he was working on (above track 6). It was the wire above track 5 that required maintenance and not the overhead wire he attended. Why wasn’t Trinankur informed?” his uncle, Tushar Nag, asked. “We have told senior railway officials of our misgivings. We will consider our next move if steps are not taken,” he added.

Trinankur was ranked No. 1 in men’s doubles by the Badminton Association. The 24-year-old’s last words to a senior colleague, while he was being wheeled into the B R Singh Hospital surgical intensive care unit on Saturday evening, were: “Ami abar khelte parbo to (Will I be able to play again)?”

His family and colleagues, shattered by the death and the suffering he went through for two days before passing away, have questioned whether sufficient precautionary measures were taken before he started working on the wire that carried 25,000 volts. “He joined ER on November 2, 2013. He was given a high-risk job despite having joined through the players’ quota,” said uncle Tushar on behalf of the family.

Relatives blame lack of adequate safety measures

Trinankur’s uncle, Tushar, claimed such an incident would not have occurred had adequate safety measures been taken. “Such high-risk maintenance work is supposed to be a team effort. Where were the other members of the team when he fell after touching the charged wire?” he asked.

The family also claimed hospital care was shoddy. “Senior officers assured us that he would receive A-1 treatment. Doctors told us that the first 72 hours would be crucial. How come, even after this, lights in his room were switched off around midnight? How was monitoring possible? I tried to inquire about his condition around 5.45 am on Sunday but was told to leave. It was around 8.15 pm that I managed to meet a doctor through some s. It was then that I came to know that Trinankur was sinking. He was suffering from severe respiratory distress and his pulse rate was falling. Why were we not informed of his condition though we were waiting outside throughout the night,” Tushar said.

ER general manager Harindra Rao called Trinankur’s death “unfortunate”. “He was part of the ER family and the death has saddened us. A probe is on and, if anyone is found guilty of negligence, action will be taken,” Rao added.

Trinankur started playing badminton at the age of five and won several championships before making it to the senior rankings. He partnered with Arup Baidya to lift the men’s doubles trophy at the West Bengal Senior State Ranking Badminton Tournament held in March this year. “He has been a great player since his childhood. He was playing very well and had tremendous potential. This is a great loss for the state and the game as a whole,” WBBA honorary general secretary and Badminton Association of India vice-president Sekhar C Biswas said.

Friends and other players remembered “Ricky” (that was what they called him) as full of life and zest. “He was not only talented but very hardworking,” Ashutosh Tiwari, ranked third in the men’s doubles ranking in the state, said.
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