BHUBANESWAR: In a shocking incident, a 68-year-old man lost his life after reportedly falling into an elevator pit at an apartment in the city on Monday. The deceased remained untraceable for hours and his son even went to police to lodge a missing person's complaint unaware of his father's plight.
Bizarre as it may sound, the elevator continued to operate all through but no one could notice the mishap.
Body of the deceased, Seemanchal Mohapatra, was recovered at around 8 pm. Mohapatra was staying with his wife and son from last two months at the first floor of Hi-Tech Plaza in Sundarpada under Airfield police limits.
On Monday, Mohapatra's son approached Airfield police and lodged a complaint stating that his father was untraceable after 10 am. He again approached the police in the evening to know his whereabouts but returned disappointed.
After being apprised that he had been missing since the morning, the housing society’s residents launched a frantic search to trace Mohapatra. "We used torches and found Mohapatra lying in the pit after about 8 pm. We took him out, informed the police and shifted him to a hospital where doctors declared him dead," society joint secretary BSK Chottaray said.
The lift was operational throughout the day but lock of its grill was found to be damaged when Mohapatra was taken out of the pit. There has been no complaint regarding the lift’s operations in the last one month, the society office-bearers said.
"We are inquiring whether he fell accidentally because the grill lock was damaged or it was broken by the residents to take him out of the pit," said Chhotaray.
Police suspect that the grill locking system was not functional before the accident because it does not open until the lift cabin arrives on a floor. "Mohapatra was lying on one side of the pit and had sustained head injuries. A case of unnatural death has been registered and probe is continuing," said an officer of Airfield police station.
Police said postmortem report will reveal the exact cause behind the death and if suffocation was also a reason apart from his head injury.