Crossings Republik: Balcony's height in question as 6-yr-old girl falls to death
It was indeed a tragic Thursday for the parents of six-year-old Nandita and the residents of GH-7, a high-rise in Crossings Republik, following her death after falling from the balcony of a flat on 12th floor of tower 6 while playing.
According to police, the incident took place at 5 pm. The girl was alone in the flat when the mishap occurred.
Eyewitnesses of the incident told City Spidey the girl after falling from the balcony, hit the parapet raised horizontally to cover the balcony of a ground floor flat, then bumped on a scooty parked below before crashing on the ground.
The fall was so lethal that it displaced the fibre body of the scooty and the rearview mirror fell off, they added.
"We rushed to the spot and found the bloodied child lying flat, gasping for breath. We took her up and started shouting for help. In the meantime, someone informed about the incident on society's internal whatsapp group," said an eyewitness on the condition of anonymity.
"After a while, a lady driving a WagonR stopped her car and offered a ride to a nearby hospital. Meanwhile, the mother came running with the elder daughter and took the child to Vrindavan Hospital in the car. The father was informed on the way," the eyewitness added.
Doctors in Vrindavan gave in to constantly deteriorating condition of the child and referred her to Fortis in Noida. The mother took the child to Fortis in Vrindavan's ambulance where she was joined by her husband. However, doctors at Fortis, after much effort, couldn't save the child and declared her dead at 6 pm.
"The mother had received the information through whatsapp group. Fearing this could be her child, the mother rushed back to her tower," a resident told City Spidey whose daughter takes music lessons along with Sonakshi, elder sibling of the child.
According to residents, Shikha used to take along Nandita while dropping her elder sibling Sonakshi to the music class. However, today she left the kid home because she was in deep slumber at the time. Before leaving, Shikha had tuned in Nandita's favourite channel as well hoping the child would not cry if she wakes up in her absence.
The child after waking up, had pulled a chair and opened the latch of the door in the kitchen, opening towards the balcony, claimed a few residents who saw her in the balcony. City Spidey correspondent spotted a chair in the kitchen which could have been used by the child to access the door.
"We have not received any complaint from the family as they were unwilling to get a postmortem done," said Shyamveer Singh, SHO, Vijaynagar police station.
The child studied in Class 1 at Crossings branch of Indirapuram Public School along with her 10-year-old sibling Sonakshi who studies in Class V. Father Vivek Rajgariya works with ICICI Bank's Preet Vihar branch whereas mother Shikha is a housemaker.
Was height of the balcony the real cause of death?
One serious concern that could be seen here is the height of the balcony. Rohit Chaudhary, president of the Apartment Owners’ Association (AOA) and many residents claimed the height of the balcony is not more than 3 feet.
However, as per National Building Code, height of any slab or balcony from the ground should not be less than 4 feet. Besides, the gap between adjacent rails should not be more than 4-4.5 inches.
As per the same code, for balconies frequented by children, grills should not have horizontal rails but vertical ones as horizontal rails are very easy and tempting for children to climb.
Alok Kumar, president of Indirapuram based Federation of Apartments Owners Association (FedAoA) termed the incident 'unfortunate' and cited negligence of bylaws behind its occurrence. "Generally, builders, in order to save money on iron grills, neglect the laws which invite such tragic accidents," he commented.
Meanwhile, Chaudhary admitted that he was not aware of the law and assured that AoA will consult with residents and try to amend balconies as per rules so that such accidents could be averted in future.