BENGALURU: In a freak and tragic incident, a 19-year-old girl died and her male-friend of the same age was critically injured after they fell headlong from the second floor of 5th Avenue Mall on Brigade Road when the glass window they were leaning against gave way on Saturday afternoon. The deceased has been identified as Liya Regina, a resident of Frazer Town, while her friend Chris Peter, who hails from Andhra Pradesh and lives in a PG accommodation in hal 2nd Stage, is critically injured. They were both students of first year BCom in a private college in Bengaluru.
The police suspect when the glass cracked, the girl who was leaning on it, fell first, and Chris, in a bid to save her, also fell. Chris, although critical, was able to give a statement to the police, which said the duo had come to MG Road to attend a birthday party of one of their friends. They had plans to reach a pub at around 7pm. Meanwhile, they decided to visit 5th Avenue Mall at about 12.45 pm. They visited the food court on the ground floor and then went to the third floor to do some window-shopping. Tragedy struck when they were on their way down.
The police officials who rushed to the spot said many theories are investigated, but nothing can be concluded immediately as 5th Avenue Mall had no appropriately installed CCTV cameras inside.
A senior police officer who conducted the spot mahazar said no one noticed the students when they were coming downstairs.The security staff and a passerby, who noticed the girl and the boy lying in a pool of blood, rushed them to National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) where Liya was declared brought dead, while Chris’ condition is said to be serious.
Ambulance didn’t come on time, says eyewitness
An eyewitness said the ambulance did not come in time when the girl was lying in a pool of blood and the police team which arrived on the scene in a Hoysala vehicle took the injured to the hospital in their vehicle with help from passers-by. Based on a complaint by Liya’s mother, the Cubbon Park police have registered a case of unnatural death and further investigations are on. She has made no allegations in her complaint, a police officer added.
One of the businessmen who runs a clothing shop at the mall said the glass window frame was too old. The building has allegedly not been maintained properly by the builder and supervisor. Also no CCTv cameras are installed in appropriate areas. The police are now gathering details about the safety measures in place at the premises.
Fire expert suggests safety measures
Retired Deputy Director C Basavanna suggests following measures for safety:
High-rise buildings should have fixed safety grills at the windows to prevent such mishaps.
Fire department officials should conduct surprise checks at malls and shopping complexes to ensure safety measures are in place and take action against those violating norms.
Mall managers and supervisors should conduct drills every six months to show how to use stairs and elevators safely.
Public should be on the left side while getting down using the stairs.
Mall owners should follow instructions issued by the fire and emergency department without exception.
Similar mishaps earlier in June 2019, Two persons including a woman died after falling off the second floor of a pub on Church Street. The victims were Pawan, who worked with a leading newspaper, and Vedha, an IT employee. The duo was getting down from the third floor and lost balance and slipped through the window next to the flight of stairs, before falling to their death.